#BlogBattles, Stories...

“Keep it Stable, Son…” (#BlogBattles: Stable)

“Keep it stable, son, you got this,” a voice yelled over the sound of the loader.

“Steady as she goes, Orin,” the tugboat captain growled to his first mate. “Straight as an arrow into the slip.”

“One foot in front of the other,” one friend said to another, watching the activity at the docks below. “We’ll get through this somehow, together.”

“Don’t rock the boat, baby. (Rock the boat) Don’t rock the boat, baby…,” played softly on the car radio where the two friends sat.

“We got this,” the friend continued. “The trick is to move slowly, stay balanced, and plan our moves carefully.”

“Yeah, yeah, Derek, I get it,” the other man responded. “No sudden moves, no drawing attention to ourselves, no standing out…”

“Exactly!,” Derek agreed. “Look, Mark, I know it’s tough, but it’s better for everyone in the end.”

“But is it, Derek?,” Mark had to ask. “Do you really believe this swill you’re selling?!”

Mark’s tone took on a mocking quality. “One day at a time, Bro. Keep it simple, stupid. Slow and steady wins the race… every time!” Exasperated, Mark snapped. “Doesn’t seem like much of a race to me, man!”

“Due diligence, Mark,” Derek answered calmly. “It’s about integrity. We do our duty. We maintain the status quo. We stay safe, and protect our own… That’s how we survive.”

“But then nothing ever changes, Derek! Can’t you see that?! Day in and day out, always the same! Monotony in a nutshell, dude!… Or a vice grip,” he added under his breath.

“Order over chaos, Mark. That is the goal here. We only achieve that through stable, steady progress. Radical changes serve no one well…”

“But change is exactly what we need!,” Mark vented. “How long are we supposed to play this game? When do we get our chance to be free?!”

“Who knows?,” Derek whispered. “But freedom comes at a cost, and its price is simply too high today… Maybe tomorrow will be better.”

*** *** ***

Mark sat up suddenly, shaking, gulping in the hot summer air. A hand reached for him…

“You okay,?” Derek asked, his voice a welcome comfort in the darkness.

Shaking his head to clear the last of the sleep induced cobwebs from his brain, Mark lay back down to snuggle with his partner. “Yeah, I’m good. Just another nightmare is all.”

“Don’t let it get to you, baby,” Derek said calmly, pulling him close. “We’ll get through this somehow. Together.”

Mark steadied his breathing as he settled in more comfortably next to Derek. “Yeah, I know. We got this.”

Outside the sounds of the harbor played on, a common refrain in the predawn hours…

“Keep it stable, son… You got this…”

(450 words)



8 thoughts on ““Keep it Stable, Son…” (#BlogBattles: Stable)

  1. Well written, Lisa, but depressing, almost hopeless. Forever maintaining the status quo, never venturing off the beaten path, is the way to stagnation. One must turn into chaos head-on to experience the joy of discovery. I think you make a good case here, by showing the alternative. Good job.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, you grasped my point exactly, Jerry. I am definitely not a fan of maintaining the status quo. Lol! Though it often feels like we’re forced to choose between safety/security and discovery/ change.


  2. Bravo Lisa, got the same old same old off to a tee. A farming friend of mine has a saying he uses all the time. “If things don’t change, they’ll stop as they are.” True words exemplified here. Nothing dulls the mind more than a Groundhog Day where all that happens is getting older. Bravo once more!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: #BlogBattle Stories: Stable | BlogBattle

  4. What I’m about to say might sound critical, so I want to state off the bat I just want to share my path of discovery as I read the story. I was confused at the beginning. There was a lot going on with a lot of characters and it took some rereading to sort it out. But when I got to the part when we find out it’s a dream, your style in the writing of that scene made more sense. That’s how dreams work – disjointed and abrupt – and when we returned to reality your style was smooth and comprehendible again. Nice touch! Writers are supposed to have a Voice, but it takes talent to tweak that Voice to reflect a specific perspective. Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the birds’ eye view of a reader’s experience! I often write what I’m experiencing as the story develops from stray thought to complete scenes, but it’s impossible to know how it reads to an outsider (not in my thought realm). I am grateful for your continued support and commentary! 😁


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