Dream Boats by Elizabeth Kate Switaj

The Inauguration Day Windstorm had blown out half the downtown lights to celebrate its twenty-first birthday. Two old friends flecked with gray snow and white hair sat on the boulders that kept the Sound from sweeping away Myrtle Edwards Park.

Look at all the branches floating around, he said.

When I was a little girl, at summer camp, we used to glue shells and a candle to driftwood. We called it a dream boat.

He laughed. Great name.

She blushed. Awful name! But our counselors said our wishes would come true if the candle burned out before it sank.

Did it work?

I live alone in an effiency studio and work at Tully’s. What do you think?

You still paint; I don’t have time anymore.

I’ve never had a show.

You do art walks.

Amateur hour in Edmonds. The truth about the dream boats is that they were teaching us to let go of our dreams—literally, physically.

Not a bad skill to have. I thought I’d be famous by now, but . . .

You gave up.

I like my life.

But don’t you ever wish you could be more?

He reached out to her, but she kicked off her shoes and slid down into the water. A minute later, she scrambled up the rocks, carrying a dream boat.

I’m going to re-light it when it dries.

What if the person who made it doesn’t want his dream anymore?

Dreams are all I have.


Return to This Week’s Flash


Filed under Elizabeth Kate Switaj

12 responses to “Dream Boats by Elizabeth Kate Switaj

  1. Randal Houle

    Nice work here. A “two for one” theme: floating away, and then the sub-theme of dreams. I really liked this story.

  2. I like the philosophical theme throughout this and the conversation.

  3. Len

    i thought to myself, “ah” at the conclusion. really terrific. the dialouge was pitch perfect and the undertones were marvelous.

  4. so powerful. i returned to re-read it, and now included the link in my blog note on water. (http://virtual-notes.blogspot.com/2011/01/h2o_08.html).

  5. Kim Hutchinson

    Awesome. Every note hit perfectly.

  6. I love this story. Beautifully framed…this moment…and how the reader has the lens telescoped back out capturing the conflicting currents in all life journeys. The boat pulled out of the rocks….wonderful line: I’m going to re-light it when it dries.

  7. Your prose is so…musical.

  8. The way you wrote this story is like the sound of water. I love how you wove the dreams through the dialogue (which, btw, is pitch-perfect). Peace…

  9. Beautiful! Loved the dreamboat and giving up illusions…
    Sweetly sad story

  10. Pingback: Week #34 – Floating away | 52|250 A Year of Flash

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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