Friday Flash Fics — Sand & Shore

Today’s Friday Flash Fics shot made me think of “Time & Tide.” That story is set in my fictional town of Fuca, British Columbia, where some of the families have a connection to various elements, and it first appeared in The Touch of the Sea. So I thought revisiting the fellows a little while after the events in the story was in order.

Flash FridayHe’s staring out at the ocean again.

I know I shouldn’t worry, but it’s hard not to. I mean, given what happened with his mother, and who he is, I guess worrying isn’t completely out of the question, but he swore the ocean hasn’t called to him since he decided to stay in Fuca, and I believe him.

So, it’s not that I’m worried the ocean will take him. Really.

It’s more that I don’t know what the ocean is saying to him now.

It’s easy to put a smile in place, though, and it’s not even false. Because he’s here. He’s staying here.

With me.

“Hey you,” I said.

Dylan turns, and a ghost of something passes over his face for just a second. I know he’s been crying, but I don’t think he’s upset or sad.

Even though we’re close to the water, I reach out and take his hand.

As usual, the sea reacts. The next wave splashes up high at us, even though it crests gently everywhere else along the beach. Dylan laughs, and that’s when I feel it, too.

It’s changed.

That splash—the ocean—it felt different.

Not painful, not willful, not even pleading.

The next wave comes in, and Dylan wraps his arm around me before I can pull away. I throw my own arm around his neck.

When the ocean touches our feet it sprays up at us, a jet of water.


That’s it. That’s the difference.

“That’s new,” I say.

“I think we’ve come to an understanding,” Dylan says. He kisses my forehead.

The next wave barely splashes at all. In fact, it almost feels like a loving squeeze around my ankles. Closer to what I feel from rivers, which speak to me the same way the ocean speaks to Dylan.

It’s… loving.

“I like this understanding,” I say.

“Yeah.” Dylan squeezes me, too. “So. My agent thinks the sundial piece is worth recreating, in multiple towns.”

“Of course she does.” I try not to be too harsh about her. She’s kind of a force of nature, and Dylan’s successes are in some ways owed to her. “But if it means travel, I hope you told her it would have to wait.”

“I did. But it doesn’t. I can work from here. Also, there’s a little gallery all the way in Ottawa that she knows. Features queer artists, she said. I could work some pieces for them, too.” He grins down at me. “Apparently? She was nervous I’d get all settled and content and never sculpt again.”

“Someone needs to tell her artists don’t have to be tortured.”

“I don’t know. You’re still trying to get me to cut down on coffee.”

“It’s not in the hundred-mile diet.”

“See? Torture.”

We stand in silence for a little while. The ocean strokes our feet.

“I’m just kidding about the coffee.” I bump my shoulder against his. “You know that, right?”

“I know.” He smiles.

“Want some?”

“God yes.”

We head back to our new home.

Behind us, the ocean says something to him that I can’t quite hear. Ahead, though, I can feel the river as it leads to the strait, like little shivers of happy laughter.

It feels like that a lot these days.



Monday Flash Fics — Happy, New

Happy New Year! Today’s photo from Monday Flash Fics seems right at home in Fuca, British Columbia, my made up town where “Wind & Tree” and “Time & Tide” are both set. That town has more than its fair share of elemental magic through a series of families who are related to creatures like sylphs, or dryads, or naiads.

Flash Monday

Happy, New

“Are you sure about this?”

Rio smiled. “It’s a family tradition.”

“Your family tradition is watching the sun rise over the Strait on New Year’s?”

“My family is sort of odd. Besides, you said you haven’t seen it yet.”

“I’ve been here all of two weeks,” Parthy said. “And I’ve been busy.” It came out a little harsh, and Rio glanced at him.

“Hey, I’m sorry.” Rio paused in their walk. “I’m not criticizing.”

Parthy shook his head. “No, I’m sorry… It’s just…” He blew out a cloud of breath. “It’s been kind of a rough month.”

“Of course.” Rio fought the urge to reach out and squeeze Parthy’s arm. “And if you don’t want to do this today, we can come back another time. You live here now.”

“Legacy family,” Parthy said, eyeing the woods ahead. “So everyone keeps telling me.” He looked at Rio again. “Whatever that means.”

He wanted to tell him. But instead, as they started crunching through the snow again, Uncle Cary’s voice echoed in his head.

He might not be like us, kiddo. Your sister is, but your brother isn’t. It doesn’t come to all of us. Before you start telling him he’s heir to something special, you’re going to want to make sure. He’s been through enough already.

That much was true. But…

Hey, Rio wanted to say. It doesn’t make up for losing your dad and having to move here, but you know what? You might be magic.

“What?” Parthy said.

“Hm?” For a second, Rio wondered if he’d said something out loud.

“You keep staring.”

“Oh,” Rio said. “It’s just…” Think. Think. “You’re cute.”

Parthy tripped over one of the rocks at the edge of the woods. He went down hard, though he got his hands out in front of him in time, and the snow was something of a cushion.

Rio helped him up.

“So, I have a habit of blurting out stuff,” Rio said.

Parthy rubbed his palms free of snow, and seemed to gather himself. Then he noticed the view.

“Oh… Oh wow,” he said, whatever other thing he’d been about to say forgotten.

“Right?” Rio said.

Parthy nodded. The first rays of the sun lit the strait, and the two stood there, watching the light play over the ice by the shore, the snow on the ground, and the water itself between the islands.

Rio’s uncle could do all sorts of things with water. Rio’s gifts were a bit more muted, but as far as he was concerned, maybe muted was better. He didn’t have to be careful around liquids, lest his emotions cause things to spill over. He eyed the water.

In the dawn’s reflected light, he saw himself, and Parthy, standing together on one of the rocks by the Strait. It was early on a morning, but much warmer given their clothing and the lack of snow, and…

“Oh.” In the reflection of the water, Parthy leaned forward and they shared a kiss.

In the here and now, Parthy looked at him. “Hm?”

“Nothing,” Rio said. Glimpsing the future in a sunrise on water was the whole point of this particular visit, but he hadn’t expected…that.

“So, for the record?” Parthy said. “You didn’t have to make up family traditions.”

Rio blushed. “How’d you know..?”

“There’s nobody here but us,” Parthy said.

“Oh. Right.”

“Also for the record? You’re pretty cute, too.”

Rio grinned. “Good to know.” He glanced at the reflection again. In the reflection, Parthy was raising a hand now, and twists of sunlight gathered in his palm. The glimpse into the future lasted just a moment longer: Rio leaned in for another kiss, and Parthy released the light into the air.

“Did you see that?” Parthy said. He frowned at the water.


“There was…a light or something.”

Rio held out one hand. After a second, Parthy took it.

“So.” Rio led him back towards the town. “There’s some things you should maybe know about the legacy families.”