What Lies, Beneath

Super quick note: If you’ve enjoyed my story, or any of my stories on Friday Fictioneers, I’d love it if you checked out my new eBook!
My debut collection of short stories, People Watching, is now available to buy on Amazon for less than the price of a Big Mac.

People Watching contains fifty two, one hundred word stories covering a wealth of subjects including love, friendship, death, sex, plums, religion and chicken kiev all prompted by 52 fantastic photographs taken by friends and myself. (Sound familiar?)

Thanks for reading – and if you haven’t tried your hand at Friday Fictioneering, then give it ago. This link will tell you how (and this link will take you to my book).


What Lies, Beneath

Fred hadn’t been seen since last Wednesday. He’d gone shopping at the local supermarket (he was short on toffees, Fixodent and cat food) and everyone had assumed he’d had one of “his turns”.

The truth was much richer. On wandering towards the nearby lake, Fred had been convinced he’d seen a car drive by underneath. Leaving his trolley at the shore (he was 91, he’d earned the right to take his trolley with him) he walked straight into the lake.

What lay beneath was a glorious city never before seen by foot-using man.


Fred’s dead now.

He drowned, obviously.



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63 thoughts on “What Lies, Beneath

  1. Dear Mr. Binks,

    Poor Fred. Congrats on your ebook.



  2. That’s quite the twist ending, although I guess it’s to be expected. It leaves the reader wondering what’s real, in other words, what he actually saw, if anything. It reminds me a bit of the H.P. Lovecraft story “Celephaïs”, where a man goes to another realm and is crowned king, but we find out at the end he’s a homeless man who drowned. Interesting take on the picture.

  3. I can see this happening.. But I’m a little bit sad.. and yes why not find your yellow-brick road underneath.

  4. karin says:

    How have you made me laugh at such a tragic story? Very clever!

  5. wmqcolby says:

    Hilarious! Good, dry humor. If he had been eating all those toffees, he really WAS short on Fixodent!

  6. New meaning to he drifted away. Good story.

  7. Mr. Binks, Dark humor but humorous nevertheless. 🙂 Poor old Fred. Well he won’t need Fixodent in this new life. It looks like he truly went to a better place in a way. 🙂


  8. Fixodent and toffees! What a hoot. Well done. And at 91 this lovely man deserved to find a gorgeous place.

  9. Maybe he found Atlantis. 🙂


    • MrBinks says:

      If that lake is anything like the ones around here, he probably just found another shopping trolley at the bottom of the lake.

  10. Sandra says:

    Lovely terse style! 🙂 Well done!

  11. helenmidgley says:

    hee hee, another belter 🙂

  12. Shoot, I was so hopeful for a moment.

    • MrBinks says:

      As it happens, I’d love to have opened the world under the lake, but you know… 100 words. 😀

  13. storydivamg says:

    Congratulations on the eBook.

    Sounds as though Fred should have heeded the warning from T.S. Eliot’s “Lovesong of J. Alfred Prufrock”: “‘Til human voices wake us and we drown.”


    • MrBinks says:

      Thanks MG. I’m very proud of it, and I do hope some of the Friday Fictioneering people will click a link and take a peek – I’d love to hear their opinions.

      Thanks for commenting – I’ll check out Lovesong.

  14. Hi Mr Binks. For just a moment I was excited by this new world he’d found. Then, unfortunately, reality flooded in…

  15. Cute twist, though I don’t know what you mean by trolley. Is it a trolley like in the U.S. or a Britishism?

  16. Jan Brown says:

    Poor Fred. But perhaps he left this world happy…amazed by his “discovery” of a wondrous place, and blissfully unaware that he was headed for the end. Not a bad way to go.

  17. Nan Falkner says:

    Dear Mister Binks, What a cute tale – love it! Love it! Thanks, Nan 🙂

  18. Poor, poor Fred. Mazel on the new book!

  19. misskzebra says:

    I think it was a happy ending, ending being the operative word.

  20. Great bit of humour there Mr.Binks!! Gave me a good laugh!! (thanks for liking my story despite its dooming quality!) Congrats too on getting your book published, that’s amazing! Just out of curiosity, are you an Oasis fan?? (I ask because of your sites tagline)…

    • MrBinks says:

      Glad you enjoyed it, thanks for commenting. And thank you for the thanks on the book launch, it’s essentially more 100 word nonsense – I’ve enjoyed putting it together.

      Yup, I am. I tend to change the tagline every now and then 🙂

  21. AnnIsikArts says:

    ‘What lies beneath’ could also be ‘What lies beyond’. Your clever story is balanced between two worlds, both of which are real according to the perception of the character and the reader. I will steal this ‘edgy’ technique for my own use, especially as I’m doing an art project at present entitled ‘Below the Line’. With my editing hat on, I’d suggest changing “… he was short on toffees, … ” to “… “he’d been …” for consistency of verb tense. 🙂 I love the list of items your 91 year old went out to buy, which, again cleverly, is a characterisation aid. I wish I’d written this! Ann

  22. Fun/sad tale.Great stuff. Toffees and Fixadent? He lived dangerously.

  23. elappleby says:

    Mr Binks, you are the master of the insane last line. I still remember your ghost story that ended ‘ghosts don’t exist’. Very funny stuff 🙂

  24. writeamy says:

    I love his shopping list. It says so much in so few words. (I’ll have to steal that idea sometime) I enjoyed your story.

  25. draliman says:

    Oh no, poor Fred 😦 Maybe someone should have been looking out for him.

  26. Lucy says:

    So long, Fred. I’m worried about his cat. Has anyone fed it? Loved it. Lucy

  27. R. E. Hunter says:

    Oh, well, it’s a good way to go, I guess, full of wonder at a new discovery.

    • MrBinks says:

      Full of wonder at a new discovery. The discovery that one’s lungs can’t hold oxygen when filled with water? ;D

  28. sandraconner says:

    Your title is perfect. The story leaves the reader still asking, “What DOES lie beneath?” Nice take on this prompt. Hardly anyone writes pure fantasy anymore, and this fills that void.

  29. Great story, whatever Fred saw or thought he saw was real in his eyes. I hope it was as nice as he expected 🙂

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