‘Clear, Blue Waters’ fiction by Lee Stoddart

A solitary bubble gently floats upwards to surface on the placid loch, as the pale, dawn light slowly surrenders to a late-spring day. Watercolour washes in orange and pink give way to wispy-wool clouds gambolling over fresh pastures of azure. Reflections mimic their frolicking on clear, blue waters.

There is no breath of wind to offend or stir the scene. All is silent.

Any other day, the heart-beat lapping of wavelets against such clinker hull as this would lull a fisher back to early morning slumber, until the line tightens and a tiny bell rings the catch. But, today, goat-frayed mooring-line trailing, the boat drifts aimless on a current, swept gently towards the glacier-hewn granite shore.

A dipper momentarily rests on the gunwale, its head bobbing, then once again takes to the air, returning to its frantic purpose, hunting amongst ice-cold streams.

In hypnotic, somnolent rhythm, the boat’s prow tenderly breaks the shimmering surface, its keel scrapes coarse golden sand. It glides to a halt in the shallows, beneath the vaulted ceiling of the dark green Trossachs forest. 

Forever in shadow, barren of sunlight, the water is a deeper green-blue.

In leaf-sieved, piebald light, there’s no catch to carry today—nothing reeled into the boat with or without a struggle. No monster-fish met its end, no tall-tale to spin. 

Soon, cars will speed along the fresh black tarmac of the A82, circumnavigating prehistoric waters. Holidaymakers will cheerily play at spotting Nessie in the morning light. Locals will go about their private business. 

Ignorant of drifting vessels, intent on their own frantic purpose, heads bobbing, seeing all yet missing everything, for want of a moment’s tranquillity. Until tomorrow’s dawn, when this nexus of stone, water and air will, once again, be silently alone, washed in watercolours.

Lee began writing spec-fic in 2012 and has twice been shortlisted and published by the HG Wells Short Story Competition, in minor anthologies and online. He gave up senior roles in the corporate world in late 2017 to focus on writing and is currently working on a dark dystopian comedy.

About the contributor

Related Articles

Ruby Red Never Forget- Lyn Ann Byrne

“I remember you,” the stranger sang, back handling the door

Ruler of the Roost -Short Fiction by Rachael Murphy

I stole a hen. Not a nice hen. Oh no! Not a cute hen, not a posh hen. A pure useless brown hen. Scrawny....

‘Every Thought Flies’. Fiction by K.P. Taylor

South African born author, K.P. Taylor

9 COMMENTS

More Like This

The Closest Thing to Home. Fiction Shinjini Dey

Shinjini Dey has been published in Efiction and Cactus Heart Press.

‘The Gifts of Troy’ short fiction by Thomas M. McDade

With prose reminiscent of J.D Salinger, Thomas McDade story is a coming of age tale with a difference.

Touching the Past by Frances Guerin

Youth meets age in Frances Guerin's engaging short story exploring the pain of loss.

Tangled Knots – Short Fiction by Helena Farrell

TANGLED KNOTS I long to find the thread that will help me unravel, to bring me back to the beginning of myself. Within the crevices...

‘Two Pairs Corduroy Pants Plus Two More’ by Dave Leys

Dave Leys is the author of The Institute of Fantastical Inventions and its sequel The Institute of Fantastical Inventions II: Magnetic Attraction released by New Holland Publishers.