22 Jun

Latest work for Madison Woods’ FridayFictioneers. 100 word story inspired by one of her photographs. Link here. Constructive criticism? Check that box. Please dive in. Aloha, D.

Better get busy.”


My trekking group was downstream on the riverbank, prodding at their box lunches. I had rock-hopped to a large, sun warmed erratic near midstream and was eating when a voice spoke. I put down my sandwich and listened closer.

Better get busy.

Damselflies near shore teemed in splendid abandon above the gently roiling surface, mating in mid air, feeding, hovering motionless, darting away.

Better get b….

A splash. I turned and saw ripples spreading out from disturbed water. Mirrored in the cobalt stream, blue sky and white clouds swirled beneath the insistent multitude.

Warning, admonition, beauty.



44 Responses to “Kaleidoscope”

  1. Sarah Paige Berling June 22, 2012 at 9:20 am #

    Beautiful, as usual. I loved the spiritual aspect you added to the story (or, at least, that’s what I took from it.) Well done.

    Here’s mine:


    • dmmacilroy June 27, 2012 at 5:13 am #

      Dear Sarah,

      Forgive me for not responding sooner. Here I am at last to thank you for tapping into the spiritual vibe. I did, indeed, feel that as I set down those words and that scene.



  2. Lady Marilyn Kay Dennis June 22, 2012 at 9:26 am #

    Has me reflecting on reflections – and hearing voices. The images are beautiful. I can hear the water. I’m on the list.

    • dmmacilroy June 27, 2012 at 5:15 am #

      Dear Lady Marilyn Kay Dennis,

      Thanks for your kind comment. It is heartening to know the images I see are beautiful to you. That was my intent.



  3. rochellewisoff June 22, 2012 at 9:33 am #

    “teemed in splendid abandon”…poetic. And to your credit, you’re among the few who didn’t use the word shimmer anywhere. Alas, I did. Missed you last week, Doug.
    Here’s my offering: http://www.rochelle-wisoff.blogspot.com/2012/06/homework.html

    • dmmacilroy June 27, 2012 at 5:17 am #

      Dear Rochelle,

      Thank you for missing me last week. You are one of the reasons I returned.



  4. unspywriter June 22, 2012 at 10:10 am #

    Doug, this is almost like a poem–such rich imagery. A feast for the senses, and, once again, there are similarities between our stories. 😉

    Here’s mine: http://unspywriter.wordpress.com/friday-fictioneers/not-tonight-dear/

    • dmmacilroy June 27, 2012 at 5:17 am #

      Dear Maggie,

      Same stream, i’m sure. Loved your story, thanks for visiting mine and commenting.



  5. Reading Pleasure June 22, 2012 at 11:11 am #

    At your best, Doug. Mine is here and linked as well. http://readinpleasure.wordpress.com/2012/06/21/fridayfictioneers-the-omen/

    • dmmacilroy June 27, 2012 at 5:18 am #

      Thanks for dropping in and reading. Loved your story. My comment’s in the stream.



  6. erinleary June 22, 2012 at 1:33 pm #

    Hi Doug, I liked this. The contrast between the normal day of hiking and the more surreal moment on the river was good.

    Mine is here: http://erinleary.wordpress.com/2012/06/22/flash-friday-fiction-6/#entry

    • dmmacilroy June 27, 2012 at 5:20 am #

      Dear Erin,

      I look for those moments everywhere I go. Life is too short to do otherwise.



  7. Charles Oyeleke Williams June 22, 2012 at 1:48 pm #

    Hi Doug, love this bit about being busy…Well done!
    I am here:

    • dmmacilroy June 27, 2012 at 5:21 am #

      Dear Charles,

      Thank you for reading and commenting. I’ll need a few more lives to pack in all the things I need to do.



  8. elmowrites June 22, 2012 at 2:12 pm #

    A moment with busy nature, away from busy humanity. As ever, you manage to make a prose piece poetic, Doug. Nicely done.
    Missed you last week – almost worried I’d frightened you away with my teasing!!! I’m glad you’re back. My piece is over here: http://elmowrites.wordpress.com/2012/06/22/

  9. Craig Towsley June 22, 2012 at 2:25 pm #

    Heaps of praise, Doug. Heaps./

  10. Kathy McClure June 22, 2012 at 2:39 pm #

    “Warning, admonition, beauty.”
    All of the above. Wow.


  11. tedstrutz June 22, 2012 at 3:10 pm #

    You get an A+ for using the word erratic. And for creating a cliff-hanger of sorts… in the midst of all this praise for your poesy, I’m wondering what got thrown into the river. I’m thinking a body, and the trekking group is in big trouble!

    • rgayer55 June 22, 2012 at 4:42 pm #

      Ted, my guess was a fish broke the surface and inhaled the unsuspecting damselfly–now, she really is in distress.

      mine’s here http://russellgayer.blogspot.com/

      • tedstrutz June 22, 2012 at 4:47 pm #

        Of course, you are right, Russell… I should have listened to the poetry. My problem, is that with Madison’s Merry Band of Fictioneers, things usually don’t go well in the stories…hence the dead body in my mind. I forgot it was Doug writing this one.

  12. Kwadwo June 22, 2012 at 3:45 pm #

    The story darts from one place to another, allowing the reader to take in as much of the atmosphere and activities as possible. A kaleidoscopic perspective.


  13. flyoverhere June 22, 2012 at 4:18 pm #

    I felt as though I were sitting on the rock……

  14. ron pruitt June 22, 2012 at 7:29 pm #

    Hi Doug,
    I’m not sure I get it. Is this like a Bibical plague of damselflies? If it is, I guess that’s better than locusts or frogs. Of course, the language use is beautiful. I’ve come to expect that from you. My story is here: http://bridgesareforburning.wordpress.com/

  15. mahjira June 22, 2012 at 9:06 pm #

    Wow, beauty in words. How you can describe something with words and make me feel like I was there – seeing it, feeling it. Absolutely beautiful. Well done!
    If you get a chance, here is mine. It’s not so beautiful but …

  16. VSichalwe June 22, 2012 at 9:54 pm #

    This is an incrediable story, is almost like you have a way of making a reader feel like they are part of everything that is going on. thank you for sharing.


  17. Lora Mitchell June 23, 2012 at 2:34 am #

    Doug: I’m intrigued by the voice warning…”Better get busy..” .From my quirky sense of humor…I’m thinking it’s the male insects saying to the females..”Better get busy…it’s time for mating.” lol. ps: Love your title. Thanks for visiting mine.

    • dmmacilroy June 23, 2012 at 3:02 am #

      Dear Lora,

      The voice is that of a mayfly warning the protagonist that life is short, and, as if to prove the point, a fish rises and the voice is stilled.

      We humans tend to think that we have all the time in the world. As I get more time under my belt I know different. This story sprang forth from that sentiment.



  18. Parul June 23, 2012 at 5:22 am #

    I like the way you make such insightful impressions with your stories Doug!
    Good work as always…
    But, you better get busy now! 😉


  19. Nifti June 23, 2012 at 2:36 pm #

    Aloha Doug,

    Very good story as always 🙂
    Mine: http://niftitalks.com/2012/06/22/fly/

  20. kbnelson June 23, 2012 at 6:01 pm #

    Doug, I haven’t seen you in ages – been missing you, and this was the perfect re-introduction. (Life has kept me away from posting the last month or so.) I especially like the “kaleidoscope” attitude here, as life is always shifting and giving us a different perspective. Well done!


  21. Jeffrey Hollar June 23, 2012 at 11:39 pm #

    Very descriptive piece that has me feeling the sun, hearing the water, experiencing the day as if I were there. Transports both the mind and soul. Well done, good sir!

  22. Jan Brown June 24, 2012 at 1:14 pm #

    Eerie, beautiful, scary, sexual, natural, supernatural, biological, intellectual. Yes, it is a brilliant kaleidoscope!

  23. janmorrill June 24, 2012 at 1:50 pm #

    I love the dichotomy of relishing the peacefulness, while hearing “Better get busy.” Beautiful imagery, thought provoking.

  24. billgncs June 24, 2012 at 2:18 pm #

    your prose is tight, and the vocabulary is rich. it really pulls the reader in. “The gently roiling surface” — very nice

    thanks for the visit…

  25. bridgesareforburning June 24, 2012 at 3:45 pm #

    Hi Doug,
    Thanks for the comments on this week’s story and on my post on my ancestor research.

    Yes, we are all related, and I think that’s a powerful message that comes from this research. Also wanted to tell you that some of your relatives may have had an important role in the history of this area. The McIlroy family (just one letter off) owned a farm that now is the University of Arkansas campus. Their home is still on the campus and is now the offices of the University of Arkansas Press. Isn’t that portentious! They also founded a bank which is now the largest in this area and is where I bank. So your family is now my banker. It used to be called McIlroy Bank but the name has now been changed to Arvest. Intertesting that you are related to Burns. The blood may have thinned out, but the writing talent seems to have been passed down intact. Have a great Sunday and I wish you good frisbee! Ron

  26. Linda June 24, 2012 at 3:55 pm #

    The image of rock hopping had me seeing Jeremy Fisher just before the Pike tried to eat him … really well done Doug 🙂

  27. boomiebol June 24, 2012 at 6:56 pm #

    Very well wrritten. I enjoyed reading, and many thanks for stopping by mine

  28. Caely June 24, 2012 at 8:01 pm #

    Hi D,

    When I read the first paragraph, I thought to myself: That’s something I’d definitely do when out in the field.
    And I continued to read, and the thought grew stronger. I would definitely have lost my trekking group because of the curiosity of what would happen afterwards. I’d probably stare into the water until something else happened (and I’d wait forever…)

    (I need not tell you how much I love this, you already know.)


  29. life in relation to art June 25, 2012 at 2:13 am #

    I love the image you evoked through your language. Wonderful and enticing. Thank you!

  30. JKBradley June 26, 2012 at 3:28 pm #

    Passes us by in the wink of an eye, so don’t vacillate, better get busy. Well done, Doug.


  31. Monique Shante June 27, 2012 at 2:36 am #

    You’ve painted a serene picture of such a busy moment…love the contrast. And your explanation to Lora helped out a lot. Well done!

  32. Madison Woods June 27, 2012 at 3:37 pm #

    I liked the instant illustrated warning and was intrigued that the damsel flies would be issuing it. I think the trout was doing just that, too.

  33. 1foperridite1972 October 8, 2012 at 1:56 pm #

    Reblogged this on Sarah Anderson Diary.

    • dmmacilroy October 8, 2012 at 5:35 pm #

      An unlooked for gift. Thank you for helping this to receive a a wider circulation. Many Mahalos.



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