La Fortuna Waterfall Costa RicaLittle fish
circled our feet.

“Piranha,” a local man said.

We laughed,
offending him.

We tried to explain:
No discordant violins
played as a horror scene
turned red.

Our apology lost in translation,
we watched and hoped
they wouldn’t take our flesh.



#14 of 42

About Marcy

I blog about trying to get out of my comfort zone, completing 101 things in 1001 days (and beyond), and writing my memoirs. My book: Timid No More.
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32 Responses to Piranha

  1. Christine says:

    Nice! I love the apology-gone-wrong, and the sudden shift from amusement to apprehension. Thanks for linking it up!
    Christine recently posted..TidepoolMy Profile

  2. This makes me shudder! Ever since I watched the movie Jaws as a child, I have been cautious about water based predators! Good work!
    Glasgowdragonfly recently posted..Coney Island Love SongMy Profile

    • Marcy says:

      Jaws got me too. I was afraid to go in the ocean, like so many others. I watched some clips from the various Piranha movies when I was writing this–so gory. No wonder fresh water wasn’t safe anymore for me either for a while. Thanks for your comment.

  3. The culture barrier. 🙂 Love the last line.
    Jennifer Knoblock recently posted..Siren Song No. 2My Profile

    • Marcy says:

      Thanks, Jennifer. Yes, the man definitely did not get why we reacted as we did. None of us had the Spanish to explain clearly.

  4. Mama Piranha are never far behind!
    That Unique* Weblog recently posted..Seagull Picnic: yeah write gargleblasterMy Profile

    • Marcy says:

      I wasn’t familiar with them, but I just watched a “song diary” video on YouTube about their song “William.” Very cool–thanks!

  5. Rahmath says:

    Oh my goodness! This happened for real????
    Suddenly made me think of warnings in life that we laugh off and then remember them when they come true.

    • Marcy says:

      Well said, Rahmath. Yes, this happened to me in Costa Rica. I have dismissed warnings about the weather when hiking and then regretted it. I take those much more seriously now!

  6. TNKerr says:

    Well done. I know very well the frustration felt when the words are not there to convey what I want to say. You did not have that problem with this piece. You said it very well.

    • Marcy says:

      One of the things I love about returning home from a trip is how easy it is to communicate, for sure. Thank you, TNKerr.

  7. Nice job.
    Cindy Knapper recently posted..A Lover’s SearchMy Profile

  8. I feel like letting out a loud “WHYYY” in such situations. You had me hooked. I fear them too!
    Soumyaa Verma recently posted..My Mislaid Mermaid #168My Profile

  9. Kir says:

    I am a pool kind of girl for this reason…because you never what’s hiding in the water (or on land)

    better to apologize quickly.
    Kir recently posted..The Siren’s SecretMy Profile

  10. Susan Shuman says:

    Yikes! Remind sme of the old movie, “Piranha.” Good write!
    Susan Shuman recently posted..EthelMy Profile

  11. Oh, the downfalls of nervous laughter.
    that cynking feeling recently posted..office politicsMy Profile

    • Marcy says:

      We first laughed because we were thinking he was joking, and he got offended and said he doesn’t lie. We couldn’t quite explain it all to him in English/Spanish. That’s when we felt nervous with the fish still around our feet 🙂

  12. TMW Hickman says:

    I like this! Just enough of a question to make me nervous…
    TMW Hickman recently posted..Road TripMy Profile

  13. Natalie D says:

    Those pesky piranhas…
    I love reading about your adventures in mini, poetic glimpses like this! Lends them a whole new perspective.
    Natalie D recently posted..On your way to steal my mermaid, eh?My Profile

  14. Yup, just this kind of awkward that makes me feel needed (translator : ) Great story!
    KymmInBarcelona recently posted..The Siren CallMy Profile

    • Marcy says:

      Cool perspective–I hadn’t thought about it that way, but I have needed your services quite a few times. 🙂

  15. Meg says:

    Great slice of life, Marcy…glad it wasn’t your foot. Your writing is lovely.
    Meg recently posted..Poseidon’s Angry FistMy Profile

  16. Oooh, as several other commenters have said, that went from charming and light to creepy apprehension. Great job shifting the mood in so few words.
    Beverly Diehl recently posted..Choose That Meme! Lessons from a Jigsaw PuzzleMy Profile

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