The extra bits...(Under construction).

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Trail and error.....

Just something that has been on my mind while. A few years ago I dabbled in writing a short story and coming across some of my meanderings has made me consider of trying again. Here's a snippet of some of that earlier scribing and I was wondering if you'd be as kind as to offer an opinion on whether or not, as the case may be, it would be worth me trying to expand this story? So here it be......


"The late evening’s autumnal sun, dappled by the browning leaves of bank side willow trees, tipped the ripples of the river’s surface with its watery bronze light. The mild autumn air had not yet succumbed to the icy fingers of the year’s first frost, although if anyone had been there to taste twilight’s breath they would have been sure that old Jack would soon be dusting the ground and what few lingering leaves remained with his softly shimmering carpet of white, translucent powder. With daylight rapidly retreating many of the riverside creatures were making hasty retreats to safe havens away from the night eyed vision and keen noses of the nocturnal predators presently stirring. Soon, even the raucous calls of the rooks would be subdued by the encroaching dusk as they welcomed the last of the parliament to their sanctuary, high in the distant chestnut trees.

The smooth surface of the river belied its depth and strength for at this point in its journey it now began to widen and meander seeking the sea to which it was forever drawn. As it left the forested hills and spread onto the flat pastureland below, the river, fed by countless mountain streams and tributaries, had acquired immense and unrelenting volume and power. Only the inner banks of the meanders provided enough footholds to allow aquatic vegetation to grow dense enough to provide a place of shelter, or of ambush, for the river’s many inhabitants. Felled by high winds when its root system became exposed during the massive rain storms of some ten years ago, the great trunk of an ancient willow cut across the apex of one of the meanders. The trunk’s anchor to the abrupt bank side was now decayed and it would not be many more seasons before the river, heavy during flood, would take what remained of it to the sea. But for now the dead willow providing asylum for all manner of the river’s inhabitants, from startled shoals of fry to innumerable invertebrates, from resting water fowl to stealthy assassins, all sheltering from the river and from each other. The barren river bed and its outer curves, where the racing water made it naught but impossible for even the most tenacious of plant life to grasp a hold, where these inhospitable areas were ignored by all but the strongest and most determined of creatures. These underwater deserts offered little relief to the small, unwary or feeble, with only the occasional smoothed rock outcrop, bank side eddy or discarded piece of man made debris providing the smallest of oasis’s for those creatures ill-fated enough to be swept from stronger cover.


            Shoals of sleek Roach kissed at the surface, taking unfortunate insects which had succumbed to the faltering evening temperature, their silver flanks, touched with a hint of gold, flashing like mirrors catching the waning sun from afar as they rolled over with their catch. Several dark olive green Tench, just a little more visible than specters in the more gloomy light near the river bed, shouldered aside the thinning reads as they cruised unhurriedly out of cover to scour over the mud and detritus of the river bed. Powerful enough to ignore the rivers current they slowly made their way back and forth disturbing clouds of silt as they rummaged, nose down and powerful tail up, searching for the wealth of food just below the mud’s surface from small crustaceans and  invertebrates to decaying seeds and berries dropped from trees overhanging the river’s edge. A shoal of small perch crashed through the few lifeless remaining branches of the fallen willow intent on nothing but the swarm of fry they’d surprised moments earlier. Their sergeant major’s stripes giving them the perfect camouflage whilst they hovered in the reeds in the failing light awaiting their prey to show themselves a little too far from cover. In a few seconds the rout was over and the perch headed back to take station in the reeds near the surface, hidden once more from untrained or unwary eyes. But not all the eyes that watched this tableau of underwater events were untrained, or unwary for that matter."



     Well I'll leave it your hands, until the next time take care.

John

16 comments:

  1. Nice. Makes me wonder what was watching those fry eating perch :)

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    1. I guess I may have to think of something suitable then PP

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  2. absolutely brilliant descriptive writing.

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  3. Great descriptions - love it. Just remember that the AVERAGE reader reads on a 6th grade level (in my country), so you'd need to choose your audience carefully.

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    1. Thank you Mr. Smythe, hadn't thought about an audience to be honest as I didn't think I'd have much interest.

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  4. As someone who also writes occasionally, that is beautiful descriptive writing. Depends on what you are going to write further. Is it a mystery, introduction to who or what was watching, or, a journey of something that is travelling the river? Better than my ramblings methinks!

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    1. Thank you DC, I've a couple of ideas where to take this, but I'm tending towards a journey involving different stories from the river with a common thread roughly running through them.

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  5. A great read as always John ,thank you for sharing. Keep up with your writing, I look forward to many more. Beautiful place to go and watch the world pass by. ...
    **BW

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  6. Did you use to read Mr Crabtree Goes fishing, John? You wax lyrical about the magnificent fishes, especially the Tench.

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  7. Funny enough Dave I've got the book somewhere, hadn't thought about for some time now. I will have to root it out and refresh myself of those wonderful pages.

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  8. Beautiful descriptive writing John - really lovely. It definitely looks worth expanding - would love to read more :)

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  9. Cheers Robin, I guess I'll have to carry on a tad then!

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