Anas Penelope

Penny, like her father, had always been a keen birdwatcher. Her father had taught her as a young girl, brought her up on long weekends away to secluded spots to see a passing migrant. The memory of his excitement at showing her a rare bird made her smile even now. Before she could even string a sentence she could spot the differences between a crow and a rook, a blue tit and a great tit, a mallard and a teal. The ducks were her favourite – as was Lake Bliss, one of her father’s favourite haunts.

It was on the edge of Lake Bliss that she now sat, arms wrapped around her knees in the moonlight. Her husband lay beside her, both of them a short distance from their tent, pitched at the edge of the tree line. Adam’s silence was not out of the ordinary for their trips up here; he was a heavy sleeper and try as she might, bird watching was not a hobby he shared. He would however, come up with her for the weekend, sit with her, sometimes fish. At nights, they would have sex in the tent, for no one could hear them – so far were they from civilisation. On second thoughts, it was likely the sex that Adam joined her for.

Tonight, was a still night and the lake looked to Penny like a mirror, reflecting the myriad of stars and planets that hung in the sky like the bejewelled back of a Starling. The moon, not quite full, cast a stark white light upon the scene. The shadows of the forest reached long, engulfing Adam where he lay. Penny watched as a Wigeon duck (her most especial favourite) cut across the placid waters. Penny’s father had also told her this was her duck, blonde on the head just like her. He told her that they had even named the duck after her, though, now older, Penny guessed it may have been the other way around. She watched on as the duck dipped and preened alone on the lake, peacefully unaware of its human onlooker.

Peering at her watch, Penny could see it was nearly 3am. Normally, at this time, Adam would be onto repeating his limited number of positions as he huffed and puffed above her. Surely now, it was time to go.
“Are you ready to go, my love?” She asked Adam, turning to him now. Adam of course gave no response so she gently began to lift him, putting his arm around her shoulder. She helped him into the small boat and grabbed the oars, pushing them slowly out into the lake. The wigeon, startled by the boat, hastily took flight, emitting the odd quack as it went.

Once they reached the centre of the lake, Penny bent over Adam and, with a sharp shove, pushed him over the edge of the boat. The rocks tied to his body helped him sink fast as Penny rowed back to shore.


by R.T.

(prompts: Lake, The Fray- ‘Ungodly Hour’)

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