Life is but a dream

I am a stowaway this week on Sunday Photo Fiction hosted by Al Forbes. My mind went to the Titanic at first, then to Three Men in a Boat, and down the river from there.

Thank you Al, your photo inspired me to wade in with 200 words.
Please follow this link to see what others  have written and give it a try.
We all have boat stories somewhere

Life is but a dream

Row, row your boat,

Singing lustily in one voice, Lily and Pete, born six months apart, friends forever, use a laundry basket as a boat in the living room.
Their ship rocks in a storm and capsizes in a tumble of giggles and tangled limbs.

Gently down the stream,

Lily is quiet, desperate to be good.
Pete, is rambunctious, impulsive, always in trouble.


She reads and draws rainbows.
He builds castles with Lincoln logs and guns with blue Legos
She will be a ballerina and he a cowboy.


She is patient with him.
He, always gentle with her.
She goes to school.
He hops from job to job.


Lily is a nurse and a missionary in Nicaragua, spreading comfort with luminous smiles.
Bone-weary one sweltering evening filled with bugs, pain and darkness, she goes on a solitary walk.
The night swallows her at 24.


He is a fisherman off the Bering straits, at war with God and seas.
Wet and cold for weeks, crazed with fatigue, he laughs, loses his moorings, and rushes to tie a rogue crate.
A black wave rips him off the icy deck at 26.

Life is but a dream.

About emmylgant

Cloud watcher and dreamer sometimes wise, often foolish, but I am what I am.
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16 Responses to Life is but a dream

  1. oglach says:

    Two lives encapsulated in such a beautiful and heartbreaking short story. You brought to life something really special from the prompt. The interweaving of the nursery rhyme through the characters’ lives from childhood to death was brilliant.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Array says:

    Em, this is an exceptional piece of work, even by your standards.
    Best thing I’ve read in weeks.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. julespaige says:

    If there is any truth to the fiction… it is a sad story.
    But then maybe they meet up again in their here-after beliefs…
    One can only hope. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. says:

    I love the way you tied in the song to your poetry. Well done my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Iain Kelly says:

    Great writing, loved the use of the nursery rhyme and so much story covered in so few words. Well done.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. It is so good to see you here. As soon as I saw your GRAvatar, I came running.

    This is so good Em. The way you changed to different parts of their lives between the poetry is fantastic. Both lives cut short by tragedy. Great story


  7. Hyperion says:

    Wow Em! This is masterful in so many ways. The two characters are polar opposites and bonded in their friendship. I liked them right away and even remembered a few of my own cross ocean voyages sitting in a wash tub in the back yard. Life is that way and our journey is often nothing like our dreams. I felt that end, the wave of shock Pete would feel if he heard about Lily. The thoughts Lily entertained before she was swallowed up by the darkness. Finally, our end comes so often at our own doing but still the last surprise is that moment we set up unknowingly or accidently, even on purpose. Perhaps I saw myself in those lines and the words became a silent movie played out in memories. The connection was special and much enjoyed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • emmylgant says:

      What a wonderful surprise to read you D.!
      Your comments are always so thoughtful and spot on! I am more than pleased that you related to this piece and enjoyed it.
      Thank you so much.
      Are you posting again?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hyperion says:

        Hi Em! I still enjoy your writing even though my visits are stretched out more these days. I’m posting sporadically. My writing experimentations done, I’m genuinely trying to write something readable and cohesive. I see you found it. My Mermaid story will be something I hope to turn into a novella someday. I’m posting a reader’s digest version for interested mermaid fans while working behind the scenes to fill it out. I do hope you like it.


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