The Plagued Parent

posts about surviving our children, the Baby Boomers who raised us, and everyone else with an opinion...


Sensible eyes could read it from the shore.

Swells topped out at eighth to ten. Cross currents swung unnaturally across the sand at the waterline after each break. The cautious stood, feet buried holding boards and tugging at the edges of their wetsuits.

Braver ones bounced atop the curls, waiting.

This late in the season the guard chairs had been removed; the community policed itself. An older surfer know for his prudence and instinct took constant head counts. “Something’s wrong,” he said. “I count nine.”

He whistled; waved.

Down shore atop the jetty, a short board with battered fins.


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This flash fiction is in response to the weekly challenge at Carrot Ranch Literary Community. 

Rip Tide was the prompt.


Updated: September 19, 2017 — 12:44 pm


  1. This is a totally different beach than the one I know. I feel the danger and excitement in just a few lines. Although I never want to surf I do want to stand next to your fictional dude and figure out what counting nine means.

    1. He’s counting heads, and that could have been made clear but stuck with 99 words. Thank you Anna.

  2. Thank you for reminding me why I don’t surf! Very scary. Want to learn more.

    1. Appreciate you taking the time to read and comment Laurie. Thanks.

  3. Fabulous. I saw this prompt and with “riptide” my mind went blank but I did like your interpretation. 😊

    1. Glad you enjoyed it Linda, thank you.

  4. Oh, no! Please tell me it turned out okay after all. Great writing!

    1. Fingers crossed but I cannot say…

  5. You have a great talent for saying a lot and painting a detailed picture in a short passage.

  6. You are quite good at this six sentence fiction..a lot of emotion in just a few sentences.

    1. Thank you Jennifer. I think sometimes working that is easier before the adult onset ADD kicks in…

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