Trifecta 93 – Coming Home


The harr rolls slowly off the sea. The join between water and land confused by the damp, salty blanket. In the distance white tailed eagles swoop down from the ridges of Ben Vorlich – their grace eternal; their majesty unchallenged. Terrified rabbits sprint for cover; the Laird’s sheep chase each other in their never ending game of follow the leader. The heather sways in the fields. I stand and watch as breathless as the first time I’d set eyes on this scene.

At the end of the track it lies – the whitewashed house. As the sun fights bravely for the right to brighten my day, the memories flow – memories of mild Scottish summers spent by the sea. Nothing ever changed. The rusty gate. The windows which shook when the waves crashed into the headland. The salt bite on the tongue when taking a breath. Mother’s washing fluttering in the breeze – forever damp, but somehow satisfyingly clean and fresh. Its sins blown away.

Every day I used to wait for the fisherman from round the point. He’d go puttering past and wave. I’d wave back. I always hoped one day he’d stop and take me with him. He never did, but I’d still be there each day. Hoping. Down by the rocks I’d find everything. The upturned hull of a yellow rowing boat, ropes, nets, odd boots – even found a bible once. I’d tell my mother about it all; she’d smile and I’d rush back out refreshed by her love. This happened every summer. This was summer.

Standing here today I remember it all. A tear forms. I somehow manage a smile.

My mother passed in the spring. She hadn’t been back to the house in years. She always wanted to, but I was always too busy. Now we are back. Up above she soars with the eagles. Watching over me. Protecting.

Ahead the ‘For Sale’ sign lies ripped from the sandy soil.

We are home again mother.

Home by the sea.


These 333 words, based on the word ‘grace‘ , form my entry into the Trifecta 93 writing challenge. I’ve written a lot of stories based in the US – today I stayed at home. I am a proud Scot and this week’s entry is unapologetically sentimental and Scottish.

47 thoughts on “Trifecta 93 – Coming Home

    1. paulmclem Post author

      Thanks LaTonya. Felt it was time to try this sort of effort i.e. someone standing on a spot reflecting, contemplating and looking to the future. Also felt it was time to stay at home in Scotland. Glad you liked it.

    1. paulmclem Post author

      Thanks Jo-Anne. Really enjoyed this piece. It’s something I’ve been meaning to try i.e. less action and more description/memories etc. Think this is a direction you may find me heading in more in future weeks.

  1. jannatwrites

    I love the tone of the piece. This hit me: “She hadn’t been back to the house in years. She always wanted to, but I was always too busy.” Oh, how many times I put off something because I can do it tomorrow, or later. Great reminder that sometimes we need to make time to do things now because later may not always be an option.

  2. atrm61

    So beautiful & poignant-like poetry in motion,with a lesson within!How short our time is with the ones we love so much but we foolish mortals think that it is forever -procrastinating-forgetting that tomorrow is not promised to any of us-sigh!

    1. paulmclem Post author

      Thanks. The word ‘beautiful’ is what I was hoping for i.e. I’m pleased two or three people have used that description. Appreciate you stopping by.

  3. freyathewriter

    I can add beautiful to your collection too, and gladly. Even before the word ‘Laird’ I was imagining Scotland – this was stunningly descriptive, wistful and ethereal. A great job.

    1. paulmclem Post author

      Thanks a lot Frey. As I said earlier in the comments thread, this is a style of piece I am going to try again soon. Think getting a handle on lush/evocative description is mucho important. This is a start in that direction. Cheers!

    1. paulmclem Post author

      Thanks Laura. I’m pleased with this piece. I achieved what I set out to achieve and I’m glad a few people have liked it. Mission successful this week in the Trifecta challenge!

  4. Valerie

    “I stand and watch as breathless as the first time I’d set eyes on this scene.”

    I loved that line. I don’t live near the sea (at least not yet!) but I visit as often as I can, and that line sums up exactly how I feel. Every single time.

    Add me to the list of readers who found this piece beautiful too.

  5. seablackwithink

    I wrote you a comment that did not post 😦 ill send a song in its place.
    is there an email I could possible send to via dropbox?

  6. seablackwithink

    May I ask if this at all auto-biographical…its sins blown away…amazing, momentarily I stood with you. theres a song I’m attempting to send your way.

    1. paulmclem Post author

      No this isn’t about me. My partner gets worried that everything I write is in some way about me and our relationship. None of my work is really personal. I just have a vivid imagination and seem to be able to come up with neat ideas. The trick is to turn those ideas into convincing stories. I’m glad this one hit the spot with you.

      1. seablackwithink

        Takes a lot of talent to envoke such vivid and emotional imagery when writing “outsise”…well done friend.

  7. Anja

    I am not sure what to add that everyone else hasn’t said….this was beautiful and so moving. I was really drawn in. Love it. 🙂

  8. Joanne

    Beautiful writing and sentiments (unapologetically) with which many of us, who miss their departed parents, can identify. The photo is breathtaking and the emotions conjured up are heartbreaking, and comforting. Thank you for sharing.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s