Writing Adventure Group Theme #26 – Fish out of Water

Writing Adventure Group LogoJust like last week, time was tight and I felt the shadow of this weeks deadline falling upon me. When I read the Writers Adventure Group prompt, I had an idea come to mind that I intended to run with. The base is there but I wasn’t able to explore it as deeply as I would have liked. I think it is an interesting social situation that few partake in these days.


Writing Adventure Group theme #26

“Fish out of Water”

All was quiet, save the wall mounted fan. It creaked back and forth while creating a gentle breeze. I made my way across the room and took a seat in a stiff leather chair. With a quick snap of steel blades and the crack of a butane torch, I set flame to my cigar and settled back in my seat.

I was the first to arrive that day and took advantage of the quiet time. I needed a little time to unwind from my day and clear my head. Before long I could hear a commotion from the regulars entering the shop. As expected, I was moments away from our weekly meeting of the minds. The running joke was that we solved all the worlds problems in a a cloud of cigar smoke.

As the afternoon passed, cigars turned to ash and our little group grew larger. Our roaring laughter must have piqued the interest of a customer on the sales floor. After making his purchase, he ventured down into the basement lounge to join the fun.

The newest addition to our group was young and timid. We learned that he wanted to celebrate his high school graduation in a few days. His father, a cigar smoker for decades, had taught him the basics on his eighteen birthday. He wanted to surprise the old man with a couple of cigars. When he heard us carrying on, he went back into the humidor to select one more stick so that he could join us.

I don’t think he was expecting such a warm welcome. We laughed and carried on, all the while trying to keep him engaged in the conversation. It was clear that he enjoyed himself, but it was also clear that he was new to this particular social situation. He fumbled with his cutter, scorched his cigar while lighting, and stammered when he spoke.

After an hour our newcomer finished his cigar and ground it out in the ashtray before saying his goodbyes. It was his first time in a cigar shop with a such a diverse crowd. Young men, older men, doctors, lawyers, construction workers, part-time shipping and receiving clerks, and so on and so forth. Our group comes from all walks of life and were happy to add yet another young man, if only for an afternoon, into the fold.


WAG Topic #26: “Fish out of Water”. Sometimes it’s easy to tell when someone is out of their element. It can be their clothing, their manner, what they’re carrying with them… so many things give them away. This week, observe (or create) someone who is out of place and describe what tells you they’re a fish out of water. Your target can be a tourist,  someone who is in an unfamiliar place/situation, someone at a new workplace, or any of a million times in our lives we can end up somewhere we’ve never been before. It’s up to you! No Rules! Now Write!

6 comments On Writing Adventure Group Theme #26 – Fish out of Water

  • Definitely the start of something here. I like the idea of this cigar club taking in a new, younger member–showing him the ropes, initiating him into their club. It will be interesting to see who he bonds with and why. There’s a lot of scope to grow this sketch.

    • Rachel,
      I wanted to go a bit further in describing what made him look like a fish out of water, but i didn’t want to over-do it with cigar talk.

      I’m glad you enjoyed it.
      Thanks for the comment

  • Sounds like walking in on a poker game. Nice job of building atmosphere, Walt. As Rachel said, there is room for a series of stories springing from this one vignette.

    • Kate,
      Cigar Lounges / Bars can be very intimidating but they are loaded to the brim with interesting stories.

      I’m glad you enjoyed it
      Thanks for the comment

  • I love that first two paragraphs, they set the tone for the entire story. So much detail. It sounds like this story has a ring of truth in it considering your passion for cigars. Good observation!

    • Terry,
      There is a bit of truth to it. I was thinking about the basement lounge in the shop I frequent when I began building the story.

      I’m glad you enjoyed it
      Thanks for the comment

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