Ashes to Ashes

Ashes to Ashes
August 8, 2012 51 Comments Writing Stephanie Ayers
Photo by Susan Wenzel

Ashes to ashes, he always said. It sounded strange until you got to know him. He’d lost his wife and spread her ashes out over the ocean. They say he never recovered. On any given day, you could find him on the pier, muttering to himself, holding a seashell in his hand. Rumors swirled among townsfolk that there were ashes held captive inside that shell, the last remains of his beloved wife. You could set your watch by his appearance, until you couldn’t. He just disappeared one day, the opened shell floating along the shoreline the only evidence of his departure.

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Another Friday, another image to inspire my muse this week from Madison Woods and her clever #FridayFictioneers. A picture, a 100 words. You can do this!

I welcome constructive criticism. I would love to read your thoughts in a comment.

Thanks for stopping in!!

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Stephanie Ayers A published author with a knack for twisted tales, Stephanie Ayers is the Executive Creative Director of OWS Ink, LLC, a community for writers and readers alike. She loves a good thriller, fairies, things that go bump in the night, and sappy stories. When she is not writing, she can be found in Creative Cloud designing book covers and promotional graphics for authors.
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  1. 51 Comments

    Carrie

    sadly sweet 🙂 I can see some resident of the town standing on the pier sharing the story with a newcomer.

    Reply
    1. 51 Comments

      SAM

      I was hoping for that. Somehow, lately my stories aren’t coming out as sinister as I want them to, LOL.

      Reply
  2. 51 Comments

    janet

    Not all stories have to be sinister. In fact, my whole life is made up of a continuous string of non-sinister stories!! 🙂 I like the idea of the ashes being held in the shell although, as with most rumors, I don’t think they’d fit in a shell this size and I doubt the townspeople were into symbolism. But who knows? I hope they’re together now!

    Reply
    1. 51 Comments

      SAM

      perhaps he didn’t sprinkle them all and saved a bit for the shell?

      thanks for stopping in, Janet!

      Reply
  3. 51 Comments

    silentlyheardonce

    Wow! Well told

    Reply
    1. 51 Comments
  4. 51 Comments

    Ilyan Kei Lavanway

    Sad and suspenseful. My mind is reeling with ideas about why and how he disappeared.

    http://ebooksscifi.wordpress.com/2012/08/09/aromog-and-modos-copyright-2012-ilyan-kei-lavanway/

    Reply
    1. 51 Comments

      SAM

      Oh good. That’s exactly how I wanted it.

      Reply
  5. 51 Comments

    The Writers Village

    I liked it too. Very soft and touching.
    I kept visualizing him listening to the shell as if his wife’s voice could be heard inside of it.
    I also, being the humorist that I can be, and having just watched an interview between Mel Brooks and Dick Cavett, though of the story that Mel told of someone who tried to throw his father’s ashes into the east river and a wind blew the ashes back on him, and all day he kept dusting himself off crying, I love you dad. I’ll miss you.

    Reply
    1. 51 Comments

      SAM

      HAHHAHAHHA,. That made me laugh. I like your view on him hearing his wife’s voice from the shell.

      Reply
  6. 51 Comments

    boomiebol

    Awww…this is touching and can be so real. Very well done. Mine is here http://boomiebol.wordpress.com/2012/08/09/this-image-friday-fictioneers-810/

    Reply
    1. 51 Comments

      SAM

      Thanks, boomiebol.

      Reply
  7. 51 Comments

    Mike

    A well written piece.
    A sad tale with a touch of mystery.
    Thanks for a great read.

    Reply
    1. 51 Comments

      SAM

      Thanks for being a great reader and offering your kind thoughts on my writing.

      Reply
  8. 51 Comments

    Adam Ickes

    What happened to him? I must know! Great read, thanks!

    Reply
    1. 51 Comments

      SAM

      You’re welcome!! Thank you!!

      Reply
  9. 51 Comments

    Sandra

    Nice one, I think this image will stay with me.

    Reply
    1. 51 Comments

      SAM

      Now that is a great compliment. Thank you so much. You made my day!!!

      Reply
  10. 51 Comments

    claireful

    I really like the line ‘You could set your watch by his appearance, until you couldn’t.’ A great story.

    Reply
    1. 51 Comments

      SAM

      thank you, claireful

      Reply
  11. 51 Comments

    Nifti

    Amazing short story Sam. Loved it!

    Reply
    1. 51 Comments
  12. 51 Comments

    raina

    wow, great story Sam.

    Reply
    1. 51 Comments
  13. 51 Comments

    Susan Wenzel (@SusanWenzel)

    What a sad but intriguing story. I enjoyed it greatly. I think he missed her so that he stepped off the pier to join her. Great use of the photo!

    ~Susan (www.susanwenzel.com)

    Reply
    1. 51 Comments

      SAM

      This was a fabulous photo. Thank you for the inspiration!

      Reply
  14. 51 Comments

    billgncs

    enjoyed it…. hope he went to a better place…

    Reply
    1. 51 Comments

      SAM

      I hope he did tooo!

      Reply
  15. 51 Comments

    Lora Mitchell

    I think your sad and lonely man jumped off the pier to join his wife. This reminds me of an elderly man who lives in my bldg. He misses his belated wife so much he carries a tiny, plastic bag everywhere he goes. Inside is her photo but I often wonder if her ashes are in that bag as well.

    Reply
    1. 51 Comments

      SAM

      Thats so interesting!! I think he may have joined his wife in the ocean too, but he didn’t tell me so I’m enjoying reading everyone else’s take.

      Reply
  16. 51 Comments

    Lady Marilyn Kay Dennis

    The local legend who is remembered long after he’s gone. I love the idea of some of the wife’s ashes being in the shell.

    Reply
    1. 51 Comments

      SAM

      I’m so glad you liked it.

      Reply
  17. 51 Comments

    Kaitlin

    Oh very nice. Reminds me of the song “The Light House’s tale” in a way.

    Reply
    1. 51 Comments

      SAM

      I will have to check that song out!

      Reply
  18. 51 Comments

    rochellewisoff

    Touching. You painted a vivid picture in a cramped space of 100 words. I felt the old man’s pain.
    I’m #11 on the list.

    Reply
    1. 51 Comments

      SAM

      Thank you. I will be by.

      Reply
  19. 51 Comments

    Linda

    I suspect she wasn’t ashes as such and was some mermaid or other who eventually came to claim him. Really well written and thank you 🙂

    Reply
    1. 51 Comments

      SAM

      I love this idea!! 🙂

      Reply
      1. 51 Comments

        Linda

        Oh good, glad you did 🙂

        Reply
  20. 51 Comments

    conhippy

    Very gentle. Check out the lyrics to a song by Pearl Jam called, “Force of Nature.” I was reminded of it by your story.

    Reply
    1. 51 Comments

      SAM

      Oh! I definitely will!

      Reply
  21. 51 Comments
    1. 51 Comments

      SAM

      Thank you, Jan!

      Sent from my iPad

      Reply
  22. 51 Comments

    Brian Benoit

    The calm mood to this works so well, paired with that ending — the suggestion that maybe he’s gone to join his wife at last, only in his own way — it was great. Among my top 5 for the week I think!

    Brian (http://pinionpost.com/2012/08/10/the-reunion/)

    Reply
    1. 51 Comments

      SAM

      That’s quite an honor, Brian. Thank you so much!

      Reply
  23. 51 Comments

    Yaral

    Flowed well and I like to think he joined her.

    Reply
    1. 51 Comments
  24. 51 Comments

    thecontradictoryoptimist

    It’s such a touching story! Thank you for writing it.

    Reply
    1. 51 Comments

      SAM

      Thank you for reading it!

      Reply
  25. 51 Comments

    elmowrites

    What a beautiful piece this is. I love the ending – a little bit of mystery about whether he’s gone to join her or started his life afresh. Either way, this is a lovely love story and really well-written.

    Reply
    1. 51 Comments

      SAM

      Thanks, Jen. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

      Reply

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