There are times when the wind takes hold of the desert and carries it far out to sea in sandstorms too brutal for even memory to hold. And I was lost and found in the firelight of whispered stories, heroes of ruin sung into lullaby with the sweetness of rum and reminiscence. And maybe there were warnings there, but I was still too young and caught up in the riptide between tales to hear them.

It was vultures that finally drove me down to the abandonment of shore. In my arrogance I called it destiny, but pride is always the last one standing and heaven knows the raptors were patient.

We were a thousand miles from land when the sandstorm took us, and even before the first warnings were called it had ripped away the sea and inked the summer sky dark with scours of long away sand. I should have remembered the stories then. But while the wisdom of sailors cursed in the cabins below, I who had traded my life for the shackles of freedom, stood on the deck and screamed at god.

But sand doesn’t care about the difference between entitlement and entombment and it will tear flesh from reason soon as you can think it. And I tell you, when you taste the first crippling of those loving arms around you, it’s too damn late to forget which way the horizon is supposed to run.

So it was that we were lost to the drownings of contradiction. The others wept out their endurance for a while, but I have a will for adaptation and to be honest, it’s hard to tell the difference between heaven and hell after a while. Somewhere up there daybreak comes flawed from poison night, stolen black and beaten white and the wrecked and wreckage ebb and flow with the circling of planets. Sure it’s not perfect and the fish have no concept of personal space, but this place is more home than I have ever known.

Carve a stone with things you want remembered, say a prayer if it helps ease your mind, but don’t you come looking for me. I have crawled too long in the desert to find anything but sanctuary down here with the bones of sailors.



The Art of Drowning

By Phil Huston, Ash N Finn and Jac Forsyth

3 writers
1 story
No rules
No destination
What could possibly go wrong?

This series was inspired by a creepy piece of artwork created by Ash. To catch up with more episodes, click on the sub menu.


40 thoughts on “The Art of Drowning – pilot episode – by Jac Forsyth

  1. Where are we? Creepy, murder, mayhem? Cosmic debris or flesh and bone? I sort of blew it seeing Thomas the Train on its side…lawn man duty was yesterday morning. Can we use your narrative as coming from the mind of the murderer? Oooo…

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  2. “Somewhere up there daybreak comes flawed from poison night, stolen black and beaten white and the wrecked and wreckage ebb and flow with the circling of planets. — but this place is more home than I’ve ever known”. Love it! The zone has eluded me this weekend, started something but need to find the zone to finish it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey, it’s the complex beauty of your artwork that crawls inside my mind, my friend.
    I don’t know about you, but weekends and me are a weird combination for writing. In theory it should come easier, but it’s like wading through treacle most of the time. Give me 2 hours sleep, a set of headphones and an early morning train and I can write for England.

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  4. Well… wow. I don’t know what else to say but I’ll give it a shot. That was excellent, probably my favourite piece of yours I’ve read. It’s deep, it paints a strong image, there’s beautiful poetry, it’s sad in places and stoic in others. In short, it’s a damn fine story and I thank you for putting it up here for people like me to read.

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  5. Aww, no no, my work is merely a deceased haddock settled in the sediment at the bottom of literature’s vast seas. But hopefully one day, when it decays enough, it’ll float right to the surface so everyone can inhale its stench. (That was my attempt at relating to being “out of depth”, anyway haha).

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  6. Your style of writing is so similar to what I hope to achieve one day. It’s beautiful without being too flowery. I don’t exactly know what’s going on in this story but I don’t even care, it was a pleasure just to see those words arranged the way that they are. “heroes of ruin sung into lullaby with the sweetness of rum and reminiscence.” I love this line in particular. That last word tied into the rest has such a nice beat to it, almost like reading poetry. I’m going to keep reading these ones!

    Liked by 2 people

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