04 June, 2022

Fiction Friday - Peace and Quiet

Vicki was bored. They had been out in the boat for an hour and a half already, and conversation had dried up fast.

She sighed and flipped the pages of her magazine, trying to find anything new to interest her. It wasn't Leon's fault. He told her it would be a morning of peace and quiet. He was going fishing, and she'd asked if she could come. Something was slipping in their relationship, and Vicki's roommate suggested she try to take an interest in the things he liked.

Leon had hesitated at first. "You won't enjoy it, Vicki," he'd said. She hated when people tried to tell her what she would or wouldn't do. "I really just sit in my canoe and fish. Sometimes I don't even catch anything big enough to bring in."

But Vicki had to try. The dating game was a mess. If things could work with Leon, if she could only find a way to feel like they had staying power... In the end, he had allowed her to join her, with another reminder that this was going to be very quiet.

Of course, there were things to say as they got the boat out onto the lake. He'd brought an extra fishing rod for her, and helped her bait it. In the end, she went with a lure because she couldn't bear to touch the live bait. He'd smiled a little at that, but they seemed good. She was trying. And he was trying, too. 

He showed her how to cast the line into the water, and they sat and waited. She tried to start up a conversation after a few minutes of silence, but his response was short, and after a couple more attempts, he gently reminded her, "Hey babe, really, I meant it. This is quiet time." Was he shutting her up? "Listen to cicadas, the sound of the lake. Isn't it peaceful?"

And she'd listened for a moment, then looked at him. "So, this is what you like to do?"

He just nodded. "I like the peace and quiet of fishing. Give it time. It may grow on you." 

But it hadn't. The quiet was disconcerting. She'd propped her pole up in the boat, and immersed herself in her magazine an hour ago, comparing her life to the lives of the glamorous people on the pages within. Now, there was nothing left to read and she had all the fashions burned into her retinas from repeated viewing. The buzzing and humming of insects grew louder in her brain, to an oppressive cacophony, and she let out a loud sigh.

No reaction from Leon. Maybe there was really something wrong with their relationship. If his favorite thing was peace and quiet, what was he doing with her in the first place? Vicki was full of energy, full of stories, full of sound and passion! 

She looked across at Leon, happily toying with the rod, tugging the line this way and that, with a tiny smile on his lips. He really did love this. He never looked so calm when she was with him. It was unnatural to her. When they were together they were either doing something or talking about something. Never just sitting still doing nothing. They had met at a club, and she thought he enjoyed clubbing, but it turned out he had only gone there for a friend. Did they even have anything in common?

The more Vicki sat and watched him, her magazine forgotten in the bottom of the canoe, the sadder she became. Who was this guy she'd been dating for the past eight months? She sucked in a cheek and weighed the merits of staying with Leon in this troubled - but "fine" - relationship, or breaking up and finding someone she was more compatible with. Was it even possible?


Every Friday I write a new flash fiction piece. If you have a writing prompt you'd like to see turned into a story, just leave it in a comment.


  1. That's a bit of a disconnect. At least she's figuring it out now?

    1. I've known people like that, who don't know how to be by themselves.


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