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133 Waxing and Waning

For Sunday, May 12: Day 133 of the 2024 Story-a-Day Challenge

By Gerard DiLeoPublished 18 days ago Updated 16 days ago 2 min read
Top Story - May 2024
Surf's up!

Low tide, so I remain thankful, awakening--alive--to the sound of breakers. You see, now on my seventh morning, only my head remains above ground.

I was planted in this hole on the beach by my inventive punishers. I should never have underestimated the ingenuity of those I had crossed. Now, I suffer their final disposition on my life: suffer — submerged in a prolonged torture as psychological as will be suffocating.

I note the tides.

I sink a little lower by each sunrise. I try to loosen myself from my incarceration, spitting out grains of sand, tasting only defeat. I know that before noon my captors will come to nourish me with a mouthful of something awful and with water.

Just enough.

It's a game, you see. It doesn't matter what I tell them. It doesn't matter how much I plead. They just laugh, like every day. They define their joys with others' miseries.

On that very twilight I watch the moon rise. Just a sliver of crescent, waxing from the New it was just yesterday evening. While I'm far enough from water's edge to have survived the week, I worry about the rising moon I see each night.

As so it waxes, so my life shortens.

At some point it will be full and my life over. Then it will begin to wane and the waters will recede, to reveal what's left of me. The Moon stays the same but I will change. The tide will come in then out, but I will stay.

I re-examine my life. My mistakes, my foibles, my pride. They got me here, and now I live on the beach — in the beach — under the haunting moon. It visits me nightly as my tormenters visit me daily. They keep me alive while my nightly visitor comes to kill me progressively.

The flow is steadily precarious; the ebb is insidiously insufficient.

I am alive, so I am still thankful. As long as I breathe, there's hope. I savor each breath. There won't be many more I can, but I do now even as a larger moon revisits me tonight. But I yet live.

Or perhaps it's just a phase.


For Sunday, May 12, Day 133 of the Story-a-Day Challenge.

366 WORDS (without A/N)

All pictures are AI-generated, but the headache is not!


There are currently three Vocal creators still participating in the 2024 Story-a-Day Challenge:

• L.C. Schäfer, challenge originator

• Rachel Deeming

• Gerard DiLeo (some other guy)



About the Creator

Gerard DiLeo

Retired, not tired. In Life Phase II: Living and writing from a decommissioned church in Hull, MA. (Phase I was New Orleans and everything that entails. Hippocampus, behave!

[email protected]

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  2. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

Add your insights

Comments (20)

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  • ROCK 10 days ago

    Congratulations on Top Story!

  • Katarzyna Popiel14 days ago

    The way his transgression is left out of the story makes it even more chilling as the reader's imagination tries to fill in the blanks. No truth is more horrifying than what the mind can come up with... Congratulations on the top story, this is well deserved!

  • Christy Munson16 days ago

    Congratulations on Top Story! 🥳 I love how your character never tells your readers what he did or is accused of doing, and that he shows no remorse. Feels almost like unreliable narrator but stays just this side of narcissistic. As a reader, I want to feel sorry for the cruelty that has befallen him, but I also wait to hear him convey so sense of justice/injustice. Love your take on what to include and what to leave off the page. Compelling writing!

  • Anna 16 days ago

    Congrats on Top Story!

  • Marc Johnson 16 days ago

    Intresting tekst

  • Kendall Defoe 16 days ago

    Yikes...! Wanna go swimming? ;)

  • Caroline Craven16 days ago

    Holy moly. This feels like one of those honorific nightmares that you can’t wake up from. So good - in a horrifying way.

  • Back to say congratulations on your Top Story! 🎉💖🎊🎉💖🎊

  • Belle17 days ago

    Amazingly written... I love the imagery of the moon, and the descriptions of the tide. Congratulations on top story!

  • Paul Stewart17 days ago

    Welll..this was a barrel of laughs. Poor guy...I marvel at the ingenuity and cruelty of his captors. I wonder what the guy did to make them want to do that, though? Or are they merely just sociopathic bullies? Great writing as always, Gerard. I love the almost poetic quality you incorporate into your writing. Congrats on a great little micro and fitting Top Story!

  • Rachel Deeming17 days ago

    Crikey! What a horrible situation to find yourself. He seemed remarkably chipper though. I have every hope that his fortunes will change i.e. the tide will turn.

  • Ameer Bibi17 days ago

    Your story made me appreciate the little things in life, like taking a breath. The way you described the character's feelings was so clear and powerful. Congratulations on top story.

  • D. J. Reddall17 days ago

    An ingenious premise!

  • Just a phase, indeed! Well-wrought!

  • Hannah Moore17 days ago

    Deeply horrifying!

  • Hahahahahahhaa I love what you did with phase. Also, sucks to be him, lol

  • Michelle Liew18 days ago


  • L.C. Schäfer18 days ago

    That is one sick punishment! 😮

  • Joe Patterson18 days ago

    Well done Gerard.

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