In this short story, two adolescents caught up in a first love retreat to the lagoon where they had their first kiss and learn some ugly truths about one another....
|Format Type||:||Kindle Edition|
|Number of Pages||:||8 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Movie buffs of a certain age may remember a film from the early 1980s entitled The Blue Lagoon, featuring a very young Brooke Shields marooned since childhood on a deserted island with her male cousin. So, when I came across Lee Matthew Goldberg's flash fiction story, "The Lagoon," I thought this might be a variant on the Shields film (which was itself based on an early-20th century novel). After reading Goldberg's story (which doesn't take long since it's only eight pages), I can say that, while it does indeed feature two young people and a body of water, it's a much deeper story of love and class difference, one that I wish were a good bit longer than eight pages.The body of water in Goldberg’s story might more accurately be referred to as the green lagoon, a small, algae-riddled pond somewhere in rural Americana, presumably the South. The narrator, a nameless boy who appears to be late-middle-school aged, and the girl, an equally nameless girl of the same age, have agreed to meet at the lagoon. He is from the wrong side of the tracks, while she’s from a proper well-to-do family, but they meet there anyway, for what starts as just hanging out and turns into a swim in the gunky pond and then turns into …While I wouldn’t want to give the ending of “The Lagoon” away, I can say that anyone looking for salacious material will be sorely disappointed. This is strictly PG rated, but while the physical interaction between the couple is rather low key, the emotional interaction is not. Instead, author Goldberg does a good job of conveying first young love in a matter of only a few paragraphs, and, what is more, makes it feel authentic, like the way a 13-year-old boy might actually tell the story. And, before the story is over, class difference does come into play in the way that both characters react to what they experienced.Goldberg has written a solid story that packs an emotional punch despite its short length. In fact, this emotional impact makes his decision regarding the story’s length rather perplexing. Flash fiction, or short-short fiction, is difficult to write because many of the best flash fiction stories are nothing more than clever gimmicks, the equivalent of a lengthy joke told by a stand-up comic. The flash fiction story has two parts, the set-up and the punch line. But, the ending of “The Lagoon” cries out for more detail and more length in which to experience the emotions the characters are feeling. Instead, the story ends too quickly, leaving a somewhat unfulfilled feeling in readers.The ending of “The Lagoon” isn’t bad; it just feels like a bit of a letdown because the story ends so abruptly. Up until then, Goldberg spun a masterful story, capturing the main character’s authentic voice and feelings and vividly describing the progression of what winds up being a brief encounter. Goldberg is a skilled writer who knows how to create atmosphere with his words. At 20 pages, “The Lagoon” might have been a true gem, but even at eight pages, it’s a very good story.