This is story about a young girl who comes to a kind of epiphany about life, as she sits by a lake. I wrote it a while ago, and as I wrote, the words poured out of me like a stream. It was a parallel realisation, both Catherine (the character) and I were experiencing the same thing.

It is only a short story, the shortest of all, but it has more to say than others.

The Lake


In the small town of Bellbery, just out of the Hilltop County, there lived a very silly girl. Dorothy James she was called and she was renowned for her immense foolishness. She was well meaning, though was always followed by a trail of chaos. The township of Bellbery was a delightful place, where in the summer children played in the daisy-kissed meadows and in the winter resided in their small, cosy cottages.

All except one.

Miss Dotty James, the town fool, would frolic in the plains when a blizzard was nigh and then mysteriously hibernate when the sun was shining. A very silly girl indeed.


Yet as she sat by the lakeside and watched her poor doomed friend Dotty chase despairingly after the ducks, it occurred to Catherine that she might be wrong. A rarity, perhaps, though all the same a possibility. Despite having read many a book and studied many a person, Catherine could have misjudged dear Dotty and her seemingly stupid ways. Catherine gazed upon the still silver lake and searched at her heels for a suitable flat rock.

In that moment she conceived a theory that life is just like a lake, stretching from the far corner of birth and the beginning, to the round simple bank of death, yet all the while being an enigmatic, deep pool covered by one changing surface. Maybe life was more enjoyable, or rather less problematic, when the surface of the lake was still and quiet, as opposed to when a large rock is thrown into the pond, disturbing the serenity. Catherine pondered her new hypothesis as she sat beside the tall, quivering reeds. At length she reached the conclusion that she was not in the mood for serious theorising about life and would rather stop being such an over-analytical twit. One can put to much strain upon the mind by excessive thinking about pretentious ideas concerning....well, nothing!

In her utter frustration, Catherine launched the best stone she could find directly across the lake, watching as it danced upon the silver stage. As she witnessed the aftermath of her destructive behaviour, Catherine returned to her theory. Watching the ripples swiftly meet their doom upon the gravel bank, she concluded that life was better when circumstances created ripples upon the lake. Nothing else could change the lake so dramatically in an instant; leaving a distinct, though invisible, impression behind. Yes, Catherine thought adamantly to herself, life is much better when the unpredictable occurs and causes, or rather demands the person to prosper. One can only develop through individual experience, when all of their strength must be mustered to succeed. You must give part of yourself away to gain a more refined wisdom. She was really very proud of her own insight!



Submitted: December 26, 2006

© Copyright 2023 Bonnie Jackson. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:


Corinne Smith

I really enjoyed that story. It was short but sweet. The kind of thought-provoking story I like to read.

Wed, December 27th, 2006 1:16am

Derek Atkins

This is a sweet story of self-reflection. I would love to see this as a longer piece, perhaps tying in the character of Dotty more. Dotty could, in the end, be an example of how living a life carefree, even though unusual, could be a better route to take after all.

Wed, December 27th, 2006 10:35pm


It's really funny you write how you would like to see an extended version of the story-because it actually is a longer story that i have cut short. The whole version is a Pride and Prejudice type romance, where the themes of being more carefree (just like Dotty!) are explored through the water motif. I didn't want to post the whole thing because i wrote it a while ago and to be honest, don't think it is very good anymore! day...

Thanks for you comments,

Bonnie Jackson

Thu, December 28th, 2006 8:57am


Such a brilliant story! Keep writing. I learnt something from it - not to shirk from problems. Thanks.

Mon, January 29th, 2007 1:01pm


Enjoyed this story---nice imagery----I agree with short and sweet :)

Wed, January 31st, 2007 6:35am

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