River of Possibility

Seurat, Georges; The Seine seen from La Grande Jatte; The National Gallery, London

Sometimes the past seems more real than the present. We float on tributaries of seconds, minutes, and years—merging in the river of time. Do we choose the course we take, or do we simply follow the currents?

Could I have chosen differently? Could you have?

Our brief time together was fueled by danger, not dances or riverside picnics–I still hear jackboots in my nightmares. I don’t even know if you’re alive. But I’ve always preferred knowing even the hardest truths, and I prefer keeping in mind even the possibility that existence has its own reason for being. I will keep looking for you, Paul. I still miss you, as though a piece of my core has been lost—despite the possibilities.

Did you betray me?

I look down at the Seine, but it gives me no answers. It reflects only the present.

Another episode of my spy story for dVerse , where I am hosting Prosery Monday, prose of no more than 144 words that includes a line from a poem chosen by the dVerse host. The verse I chose for everyone was an unintended challenge.

“I prefer keeping in mind even the possibility that existence has its own reason for being.”
— Wisława Szymborska, “Possibilities”

74 thoughts on “River of Possibility

  1. An excellent write for the quotation. I particularly like this line “We float on tributaries of seconds, minutes, and years—merging in the river of time.” And I’ve always really liked this painting!
    A fascinating prompt, Merril. Thank you!

  2. This is gorgeously woven, Merril! I so love your spy series 😀 this one in particular gives us a glimpse into the inner workings of lady love’s heart! Especially this; “We float on tributaries of seconds, minutes, and years—merging in the river of time,”… is brilliant!! 💝💝

  3. Oh, this is poignant – that not knowing must be terrible! I’m pleased you revived the spy characters for this prompt: there is certainly the potential for a longer story!

  4. I love how you really used the concept of possibilities with that great metaphor with a river with tributaries, the parts you leave out make it possible to fill in the gaps of your story. I think this can be a great beginning to a novel

  5. So glad to read your spy story again, Merril! I love the sentence: ‘We float on tributaries of seconds, minutes, and years—merging in the river of time’ and the way it links to the final sentence. I’m dying to know the answer to the question – did he betray her?

  6. an intriguing story … I like your melancholic spies and Bjorn’s librarian who weave a common thread thru your stories! One I should try but not sure I have the skill

  7. I like your character’s POV so much. I feel like I’m walking with her, “listening in” on her thoughts, and they are deep, intense (and not unlike my own) thoughts. Keep the story going. Please!

  8. I think the reader begs for answers as much as the narrator in this piece.The unknowns make the mind wander, creating our own possibilities until we know more….you know….when we read the novel! 😉

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