Trifecta 78 – Gone Fishin’

abandoned2The biting summer winds shrieked their way through the deserted streets of Saskatill. Doors of homes long shorn of life blew open and closed in an endless cacophony of thuds and bangs. The frozen, hulking skeletons of rusting machinery at the abandoned fishing plant rattled day and night.

Nobody cared. Nobody was there to care. They’d all left when the plant closed. All except Mickey Keeperman. He’d stayed.

“Come on Mickey. Think straight. We leave tomorrow” they’d said.

“I ain’t leavin’. This is my town. Why woulds I wanna leave?”

Who wouldn’t want to leave this end of nowhere? Use some imagination Mickey!

Mr Mayhew called him pedantic. He didn’t know what that meant. He had everything he wanted right here. They didn’t understand.

“I can’t leave my family. They needs me” insisted Mickey.

At that point they stopped asking. Soon they were all gone. Rust moved in as the town began to rot away. Those who left didn’t forget their old friend though. Supplies were delivered. Hardly enough to feed a bird but Mickey survived. He survived to keep a look out.


He came down to the dock every day to wait for them. They had been gone since Mickey was a kid. His father and brother were his heroes. A child needed heroes in this sort of town. He would never give up on them.

The cold and loneliness were beginning to take their toll on Mickey. His health wasn’t what it was. One bone chilling night, with the view crystal clear, Mickey thought he saw a boat. No! It is! Is it? It all went hazy. It all went quiet.


Five years after they left life returned to Saskatill. They’d struck oil. The first ones back found Mickey down by the dock.

It’s said when the skies are clear and the air is cold you can see it. Out in the fishing grounds. The old Keeperman trawler. Three hands on board. Mickey at the wheel.

These 329 words are my entry into the Trifecta Week 78 writing challenge.


12 thoughts on “Trifecta 78 – Gone Fishin’

  1. Varsha

    Oh my. That’s a creepy story. I love looking at ghost town pictures. They’re really good prompts to get your writing flowing. Poor Mickey, wanting to stay behind, unwilling to part with memories. Even death seems to have not ruined his pedantic streak. Great fill.

    1. paulmclem Post author

      Thanks Varsha. Up until last week I’d only done 100 word flash fiction. That’s now a 33 and a 333 (well 329) since Friday. Will be interested to see if people like this story!

    1. paulmclem Post author

      Cheers Lane. Trying a lot of different things these days. Have done plenty of stories with big endings. Fancied something more subtle today. This one is mainly about Mickey, his isolation, trying to be back with his father and brother etc. Glad you liked it.

    1. paulmclem Post author

      Kind words Sandra. I quite liked this story. Was really trying for more of a descriptive piece. I think it works but another 200 words would have made it better 🙂

  2. trifectawriting

    The last two lines of this are just perfect. Simple, haunting. This reminds me of the chapter in To The Lighthouse when they return to the house to see it in a state of ruin.

    Don’t forget to come back to vote at the end of the challenge!

    1. paulmclem Post author

      As often with these short pieces the ending takes the longest. However, I’m quite happy with it. Pleased you liked it too. Many thanks for taking the time to post a comment. Much appreciated!

    1. paulmclem Post author

      Cheers Draug. Got to be honest and say it didn’t start out as a ghost story. Just wanted a nice, crisp description of an abandoned village. However, with only 50 words left an ending was needed and so it got this one. However, I think it fits. Glad you liked it.


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