The broad stream bore her far away

Here is my story for this week’s Friday Fictioneers, hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. When I saw the photo prompt I just had to write about Charlotte again – the boat in the photo was a perfect vessel for her.  Here’s where Charlotte first appears, and here’s my original inspiration.


Copyright -

Copyright – Georgia Koch

Charlotte had made her choice, so she could blame nobody but herself. No good saying she should have stayed in her tower-top apartment with her Facebook and Youtube favourites. When Lance showed up in magnificent detail on her screen, she had to find him.

The only way down was the fire escape to the river below, the only available transport a broken-down skiff; but she did it, and in her best snowy-white dress – she was a Lady, after all.

Pity she was dead as dust by journey’s end – but a curse is a curse.

52 thoughts on “The broad stream bore her far away

  1. Wonderful contrast between Charlotte’s smooth movements from flat to boat, and the punchy, ‘Pity she was dead as dust.’ It is indeed a pity 🙂


    • I like the ending myself. You can get the original (The Lady of Shalott – Tennyson) via the link in my intro, if you like. And I did an earlier piece which I’ve also linked to. Thanks for reading and commenting.


    • It certainly should – they’re way too fragile. I wish I’d thought of a selfie – I’m sure she would have stopped to take one before she clambered down the fire escape.


  2. There was great emotional contrast in your story. I wasn’t expecting the ending, but that is a very good thing. I liked your introduction piece on Charlotte as well!


  3. Charlotte was filled with such promise and the boat idea in her beautiful dress probably seemed like a good idea at the time. I’m sure she looked lovely floating down the river until she met her fate. I love the image of her in a snowy-white dress of her floating in a broken-down skiff. Nicely done, Margaret!


  4. I wondered if anyone else would see that boat and think ‘Lady of Shalott’. You have brought your Lady of Shalott into modern times. Both end up as dust, anyway. Seems she is eternally doomed to that curse. 🙂


    • I wondered the same, and there are two others, I recall, who used her. I really enjoyed the variety of interpretations based on the poem. I enjoyed writing my modern version – I had some fun with the poor Lady, especially in my first post featuring Charlotte. Thanks for commenting.


  5. What a fascinating tale, Margaret. That Charlotte’s character was inspired by the Lady of Shalott is interesting, too. I love the way you have Charlotte breaking away from the Facebook world to find reality, and the real Lance. You have made her escape, in her snowy-white dress, quite vivid. And the last line really delivers the punch. The phrase, ‘dead as dust’ is wonderful, as is the final reference to the curse.


    • Thank you for your lovely feedback, Millie. It’s quite a challenge to fit descriptive details into 100 words, so I’m glad Charlotte’s escape came across vividly for you. I’m also glad you liked the ending. I felt quite cold-hearted finishing her off like that, but that’s how it had to be.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Now that’s an interesting question – I’m not sure if the curse dies with her. I’d really like to know what she did to be cursed in the first place, actually. I don’t know of Charlotte dolls. I hope none of them had stories as sad as this one. I’m going to google this – I’m curious.


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