Drabble Lab Round 4: Solitude

Despite issues with logging in to the comments, last week’s drabble lab was great. Hopefully, sign-in issues will be resolved this time around; if you couldn’t get your drabble in for last time I’m sorry!

I was really impressed this week with the breadth of interpretations of the theme. There were a lot of different interpretations, and they were all quite interesting! Read on for runners-up and a winner; but go back to the original thread to see everyone’s contribution.

Runners up:

This one, by breadbox, is just adorable.

He truly was as perfect as it was possible for someone to be. His ideas, his habits — everything. Even his unfashionable clothes subtly complemented his warm personality. Really, there was nothing about him that she would change.

Not that she had ever said as much. No, she was his silent, singlehanded cheerleeding squad. But one day she mustered her courage and sought him out, to tell him plainly.

She found him reading a book and scratching a darkened jawline. She frowned. “Did you forget to shave, Dad?”

“Not exactly.” He shrugged absently. “I was thinking of growing out my beard.”

This one, by Anne S., is kinda creepy.

“But…what is it?” Her nose wrinkled in disgust even as she leaned in to get a closer look. It looked back at her.

“I don’t know, I just noticed it this morning in the shower.”

“Should you see a doctor? Or, like, a vet?”

I lowered my arm. “Ha ha. Very funny, Lucy.”

“It’s not funny at all, Sam.”

“Aw, come on. What’s the big deal?”

“What’s the big deal? You wake up with this… this thing growing in your armpit, and you’re asking me, ‘What’s the big deal?’ We sleep in the same bed, Sam. What if it’s contagious?”

And Gigi’s daughter, Zoe, even had a personal drabble to contribute:

I don’t want to grow-up. It sounds awful and dull. I wouldn’t get as much attention.

You know what? I’m going to put books on my head to stop me from growing!
Oh, darn, the books fell off! Well, I wouldn’t be able to balance them on my head the rest of my life anyway.

What if I don’t drink milk? Then my bones won’t grow!
Darn. Mom says I have to drink milk.

Hmm, maybe if I bonk myself on the head, that’ll do it.
OW! Nope, that doesn’t do it.
All well. Maybe growing isn’t bad after all.

The winner, however, is this one by Olivia, because I have a great fondness for mythological references and for inversions of the theme.

Illustration by Jill! Thanks, Jill!
Illustration by Jill! Thanks, Jill!

Yesterday there had been a beard on his face. Today there was none. He looked younger without it, as though his hair were suddenly less gray and his eyes more blue. His friends remarked on hos spry he seemed, but he simply smiled enigmatically. The following month they were sure something was different.

“Are you working out?” they asked.

“Just standing straighter” he replied.

By the end of the year Art knew he had to say something. His friend’s old staff rested uselessly in the corner while the man himself nearly danced across the floor.

“Merlin, are you growing younger?”

For the next round, the theme will be Solitude. Get those drabbles in by Friday!

Elizabeth Finn

Elizabeth is a geneticist working for a shady government agency and therefore obliged to inform you that all of the views presented in her posts are her own, and not official statements in any capacity. In her free time, she is an aerialist, a dancer, a clothing designer, and an author. You can find her on tumblr at, on twitter at @lysine_rich, and also on facebook or google+.

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  1. There was a distant memory of touch. Somewhere from years ago, a purring comfort of soft bodies and warmth, mixed together with mother’s milk. The loss of it wasn’t clear, when the feeling of companionship had disappeared, or when he had vanished off into solitude. Being alone didn’t seem like a burden anymore, it was the natural order of things. He was strong, he was capable, he was independent. He relied on no one but himself and his senses. But somewhere, there lurked the memory that solitude was not the only option. Stretching, the cat gave not a single fuck.

  2. Downtown in morning rush hour. He focused on navigating the crowds, and still nearly bumped into two women as they discussed their plans for the day. He squeezed past a knot of teenagers shouting at each other over the music in their earbuds and entered the coffee shop. The line was long, with people squeezed together, trying not to block the entrance. He waited his turn. Finally the barista looked his way. “Double tall,” he said, but his voice came out gravelly and uneven. He cleared his throat. It was the first time he’d spoken since he’d ordered coffee yesterday.

  3. A four day caravan-ride from the capital city there is a tiny village at the foot of a mountain range. If you walk the road through the village and along the foothills for two days the land becomes steep and craggy. Past the treeline you find little topsoil and the air is thin. If you climb further there is a winding, narrow, and rock-strewn road, and a staircase. The stairs are still sharp and chipped; they have never been worn in. Atop the staircase is a hermit’s cave. And inside live two men, who have never spoken to each other.

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