Short Story // "Ripples"

June 05, 2017

So, I have finally (just after four days) gotten this blog design thing under control. And I am thinking of posting every Friday and Monday. Today is Monday, so I thought I'd let you read a short short of mine. I originally wrote it for a friend's birthday. Later I ended up submitting it to a local writing contest. It was a prize-winner. Hope you enjoy it!


submitted for the TBLN 7th Annual Writing Contest

She sat at the back of the school bus, all alone, just looking out the window at the countryside passing by. She heard the chattering and the giggling of the kids at the front of the bus.

She looked out the window at the fields, and saw a lone farm house sitting on a hill. She was that house, she thought. All alone in the middle of nowhere. The odd one out.

"Hey," someone said beside her, and she jerked her head around. A boy sat on the seat next to her, smiling.

"Hey," she replied, somewhat sullen.

"How're you?"

"Fine," she said defensively.

"Enjoying the view?"

She shrugged. "It's all right."

"You're new around here?"

She gave a hard laugh and turned back to the window. "You just noticed?"

"Where are you from?"

"Vancouver," she replied, glancing at him.

He raised his eyebrows in surprise.

"What?" she said.

"So am I."

She turned to face him. "You are? Why didn't you say so!?"

The boy grinned. He stuck out his hand. "Cal."

She shook. "Tara."

. . .

In the same school bus some months later, she asked him, "Why'd you do it?"

"Do what?"

"Come talk with me."

"Oh..." He looked out the window, remembering.

He remembered himself sitting on the same seat she had been sitting on. He had watched the other kids talking and laughing, and he had stared at the field outside the window.

He remembered wishing, wishing with all the power in him, that someone, anyone, would come and say, hi.

And he remembered that no one ever did.

He turned back to her and shrugged. “I was just dropping a pebble in the water.”

She looked away and wondered what he meant.

. . .

Two years later, she sat in one of the front seats of the school bus, talking and laughing with the other kids.

The bus made a new stop, and a blonde girl climbed aboard. The girl looked at everyone for a moment, then retreated to the back of the bus.

She watched as the blonde girl looked at the other kids chatting and giggling. She watched as the blonde girl stare out the window at the fields; and she watched as the blonde girl open a book in her lap.

She looked at the kids, who went on having fun, oblivious.

She looked out the window at the sky, remembering.

She took a breath and made her way to the back of the bus.

"Hi," she said, and sat at the edge of the other seat.

The blonde girl looked up, surprised. "Hi," she said shyly.

"How're you doing?"


"I'm Tara."

"M' name's Julie."

She looked at the girl's book, and saw it was a book of poems. "You like poems?"

"Oh, yes. A lot."

"What are you reading now?"

"Drop a Pebble in the Water," the blonde girl said.

She stopped. She looked out at the window, and thought. She turned to the girl.

"How does it go?"

"Drop a pebble in the water: just a splash, and then it's gone, but there's half a hundred ripples, circling on and on and on," the girl quoted.

. . .

"Hey," the blonde girl said to her a week later, "thanks. You know, for making friends with me."

"It's nothing," she said.

"No, really. Thanks."

She gave a hard laugh, and said, "I was just one ripple, circling on."

*  *  * 

There you have it! Did you like it? 
Was it confusing that I only used pronouns, never names? 
And do give me feedback, criticism, comments... I want your opinions!


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  1. You write like I do!!! That makes me happy!! (No, seriously, it makes me happy, because I doubt my writing all the time and think it's horrible . . . so it makes me more confident to know someone else shares my style.)

    I love how you used pronouns instead of the characters' names. I could more easily imagine myself in their shoes that way. I also loved how simple and yet meaningful the story was :-)

    1. You do? Thanks so much Jessica! I'm glad you like it. It means a lot :D

  2. OH MY GOODNESS *shrieks something incoherent* I loved this!!! You have such a unique style and voice and it's pretty fantastic :D

    1. Oooh, THANK YOU! That's nice to hear. Your enthusiasm is inspiring xD

  3. I love how your story looped around like that. My very favorite kind!! That was lovely, Lisa!

    1. That's so good to know! THANKS FOR TELLING ME!!!


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© Lisa Elis 2017-2019. All text mine unless otherwise credited. Please do not steal. Thank you.