Fish out of Water (Micro Fiction)

Hello readers – it is time for a Sunday Photo Fiction entry. 

Please note that my fiction pieces are not based on true stories and they are not autobiographical. Sometimes they are inspired by real life events (of course) but even if they sound real – I really need to note that these posts are pure fiction. Also, the photo prompts are not my photos – and today’s fiction prompt was donated by CE Ayr.

Okay, with that out of the way – let’s explore this photo, joining other writers in the SPF group, with today’s characters as a fictional couple who attempt to build a house at 595. 


Building the House at 595

(fiction word count 195)

A fish cannot climb a tree

It took us time to see

That our skills and wiring

Were more for the sea

This house at 595

Brought lessons learned hard

When my baby and I

Tried to build on a crumbly yard


Contractors came and went

Bank accounts took a dent


But again and again

Inspections failed

Project derailed!

      problem mode

   not up to code!

Unsafe foundation

Poor drainage

disconnected circuits….

That was “us”

feeling like we were in a displaced tree

needing to be back in the sea

Lost our spark 

felt stopped up with a shaky foundation

Out of our skill-set zone.

Time to leave it alone.


This DIY is for the birds

Or at least not for us.

So with little fuss

we unloaded it to a contractor man

now out of our hands

walking away without tears

broke even, with fifty bucks to spare

An outcome that is kinda rare

While we also have lessons learned

 court’s adjourned


730 days of grind and grit

Someone else can now deal with this….


and code permits

Like a monkey climbs a tree

So we

like fish,

can go back

to our sea




Author Notes:

When I saw today’s photo prompt, the picture had a “building-in-progress” feel to it. I thought about writing about foraged items and how maybe the bell, shutters, and gate had some type of special meaning.  However, as I looked at the photo I kept wondering if this structure was safe. The dilapidated feel is subtle, but then I imagined a couple who tried to save money their own place, because DIY shows make it look so easy, and then they realize they were like fish out of water on this project. 

Have you ever done a DYI project that was a flop – or a success?  I redid our kitchen back in Denver in the 1990s – tiles and counters – and it was hard work but a lot of fun – but I am glad to leave construction to the pros. 


If you would like to join in with Sunday Photo Fiction – or just read other entries – go HERE  








35 thoughts on “Fish out of Water (Micro Fiction)

  1. I’ve heard it said that a house is a hole in the ground you throw money in. Of course, it’s also an investment, but not being particularly handy at DIY, I would probably hire someone.


    1. never heard that analogy and I bet some homeowners have felt that – our house in Denver was built in 58 and we owned it int he 1990s and it was just starting to have certain old age issues – like a huge thick pipe in basement rotted and it was weird – great home and nice zip code – but it was a pleasure to get a new build later – we appreciated it


  2. My hubby and I have been there done that. Our first home had 30 amp power service 15 of which was dedicated to heating. We were in that home less that two years, but yes lost our shirts on bringing it up to code.

    I watch a bunch of those redo the old falling apart house shows… and yes the photo does remind me of that.
    Ah… back to sea… just make sure the your boat stays afloat! Yep I know fiction… but we can hope that the characters don’t completely sink!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Jules – thanks for the comment – and yikes- when Iu read the phrase “bring it up to code” I know that meant a lot of headaches.
      and nice point about staying afloat – – and to add to it…
      may the wind be at your back when you need the boost!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I really enjoy reading this story, like the ending, A well thought and written story, Y!
    I have done a major DIY for our kitchen and bathroom. It took a lot of planning work… 🙂


    1. yes – agree to the lot of work and planning – even though my first big project was a bit of winging it – just unfolded – but bug DIY projects are not something I want to keep doing…they are usually 20 times harder than expected


    1. Hi – actually money was not important to this couple – which is why I said they walked away without tears – grateful to break even with fifty bucks and lessons learned.
      and when I mentioned bank accounts drained – I made it plural to show that they dipped into even more money – and they had many contractors (which is not cheap) – but thanks for your feedback – because I actually tried to show they did this attempted DIY for the adventure and maybe because HGTV makes it look so easy.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sorry – I got the wrong end of the stick. I didn’t get the sense of adventure at all – maybe because it was an impersonal point of view. To my romantic mind build a house together would scream, well, togetherness. 😬


        1. well thanks – and your comment does have me thinking more about the way I told the story.
          And in hindsight I see it less as a piece of togetherness and my focus was more on the two years at the project and than walking away. A few small changes could have went from a couple to a single person – and so even though I have a side of me that is a hopeless romantic (and love Dickens and Hugo for instilling that in me) I think I should have had this be a single person who attempted this and walked away.
          or -t he two were together for sooooo long – this was just another trial and error thing and they did not let it wear them out (or maybe that is why they quit when they did – )


  4. DIY can be great fun and oncewas once my forte, but not now. Loved the way you presented this couples tale of fortitude.


  5. I have experienced these sorts of issues with builders and building, Yvette. Nicely penned.


    1. thanks for the comment and sorry you have had experiences with this – and your comment reminded me that many times the builder or contractor causes probs


  6. I liked this piece. It feels kinda raw and authentic. DIY is good, we’re DIYers, but when we know it’s beyond our level of aptitude, we call the pros.
    Our house is 100 years old. She’s a good one, but she’s old and from time to time, she has to whine about it 😉


    1. oh wow – 100 years is a ripe age and sometimes needs less than a house that is 20 – guess it depends, eh? And I am super grateful my hubs now does lots of things (many thanks to Youtube for their many videos and helps) but like you guys – some projects are for the pros.

      Liked by 1 person

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