Archive

Tag Archives: sea

 

Local fisherman, Yugoslavia. CC photo by GothPhil.

Local fisherman, Yugoslavia. CC photo by GothPhil.

 

Subaqueous Homesick Blues

Seb adjusted his footing on the undulating rowboat as the net taunted his callused grip. His shoulders complaining from hauling another seaweed slick disappointment up from the depths.

‘Nothing?’ Arch asked.

Seb shook his head.

‘Fuck it,’ Arch spat into the sea, ‘so what’s that today? Ten fish, some plastic shit!’

‘The Senate will understand.’

‘Yeah and one day they’re going to get their hands wet. No, reckon the lash this time.’

Seb slumped, the boat rocking in response, ‘we could go …’

‘Where precisely? Hell boy if its not the lash its exile, now stop talking stupid and grab an oar.’

The rhythm of wood slicing water broke the silence as they followed the meager assortment of vessels that comprised the scavenger fleet. In the distance the Senate’s oilrig lay squat on the horizon.

Weary and anxious, Seb gazed at the dark shadows that glided beneath them. Daydreaming about living within submerged towers that had once pierced the sky.

 

 

The Waiting Game

Now watch me cast.

Christ I feel sick.

Notice how the rod reacts as the line dictates?

Breathe, its okay, a routine emergency cesarean that’s what the nurse said. Happens all the time.

Now we wait hoping for a bite.

A name. A name so they both live.

Shouldn’t be long I reckon.

What did Emma want … Thatcher, not going to happen, far too Tory.

Hmm, can feel something teasing.

Something else. Damn where is she?

Ah a bite, now gently we reel it in, gently, teasing.

What’s the nurse carrying, is that my son? Bloody hell he’s so small.

Easy now, this one’s struggling.

Emma should be out by now, then she can meet … Elliot … Elliot that’s what we’ll call him.

Gentle.

Where is she? How can I cope alone?

Gentle.

He’s so beautiful. Must stop crying onto him.

Easy now.

Please, where is my wife?

There, isn’t she a fine specimen?

 

22781_517f222f634d46.07328646-big

He drags the damp stick back and forth. So caught up in his task he barely hears the cry of gulls, hawking screeches that split the serenity of waves rumbling in repetitive frustration.

He works tirelessly, scarring the wet sand beneath his feet. Forging the lines and slashes that once were unfamiliar but now mean everything. Carving, till his fingers are raw and grains of fine sand coat his skin.

He stands back, his skin smelling of the ocean, admiring his labour lying there before him:

HARRISON 6.

Then the sea surges forward, hungrily obliterating everything.

Smiling, he begins anew.

Flash! Friday’s prompt was one of those that stirred the writer within me. The image was startling, a photograph of an installation by Jeff Uitto entitled The Sea Horse:

 

the-sea-horse-5

Sadly the writer in my went for a cliched fantasy piece, partly due to the keyword this week being ‘knighthood’. Yet the world that unfolded before me was one I’m tempted to explore further in the future.

Anyway hope you enjoy.

The Joust

Sand shifted under Willow’s hooves causing Astrid to pat her anxious mount. Suddenly the Festival of Equus erupted into life, cheering spectators, trumpeting horns, fluttering flags. Caused by the morning sunlight glinting off of the burnished steed of House Alloy, her bronzed rider bearing his lance aloft.

Bronze.

Soft metal.

Treacherous metal.

Silence fell. The crowd watching the grizzled Seer whose gnarled hand held clutched aloft a red pennant, fluttering in the breeze.

Astrid summoned her concentration, demanding the wooden form beneath her acquiesce. Slowly bark and root flowed over her, fashioning a centaur out of this knight of House Forest and her steed. Extending out her right hand, Astrid watched a branch forge outwards, transforming her arm into a lance.

Jeers from some Alloy supporters, mocking the impudent child with the temerity to call herself a champion.

A moment.

Then scarlet fell.

The world around Astrid disappeared, consumed by the rhythm of hooves and the beating of her heart.

So I took a break, all of seven days but a hiatus nonetheless, from writing flash submissions. For whatever reason the thought of wrestling inspiration from a photo prompt was too arduous a task. However, like any good addict, I found myself relapsing, this time entering a piece for Finish That Thought.

The prompt was the line … “The sea, which had been glassy only an hour before, now raged with an unholy vengeance” … which resulted in the flash tale below:

The Interview

The sea, which had been glassy only an hour before, now raged with an unholy vengeance, threatening to overturn the world. Ed’s hands gripped the arms of the chair, his eyes pressed closed, as he struggled to breath. The violence of the storm was overwhelming, a raging inferno that threatened to obliterate everything.

Sweat bonding his shirt to his back Ed struggled to keep the nausea from rising. Yet he knew he couldn’t prolong this any longer, taking a breath Ed reopened his eyes.

The job centre assessment office was still staring at him, her face seemingly unmoved by Ed’s panic attack. Dabbing a handkerchief at the corners of his mouth, Ed raised his other hand in apology. She barely acknowledged it, shuffling pieces of paper impatiently, Ed’s life apparently, before returning her attention back to him. He now understood how a butterfly on a pin must feel.

‘Once again Mr Clarke, it is not my intention to ‘flummox you intentionally’ as you put it, my role is to get you working, to help you contribute to society.’

Ed nodded tentatively, the taste of brine in his mouth making him wince.

‘So to repeat the point I have already made, your benefits are to be put on hold due to the fact that we have deemed you capable of working. ‘

‘But my cancer … ’

‘Is not a factor in our assessment, Mr Clarke I’m sure you are more than aware that there are others out there right now working with far more debilitating conditions than your ailment. Now I have an interview opportunity here, zero-contract, in a supermarket, stacking shelves etc.’

She pushed across a piece of paper, Ed squinted, his eyes refusing to co-operate.

‘Uh, I don’t think I can, my treatment … the weakness …’

Her displeasure was evident in the way she snatched the paper back, returning it to the drawer under her desk. She clapped her hands together, brushing them against each other as if she had caught something from him.

‘Then I’m sorry to say it Mr Clarke, I have to deem that you are refusing our assistance, therefore you’ve left me no option but to sanction your remaining benefits. I hereby officially advise you that you will receive no payments for the next six weeks. You of course have the right to appeal.’

She was already turning, the red number above her desk turning to green. Ed was dismissed. The storm was roaring back into life, waves crashing backwards and forwards within his skull. How was he to live? He had no money. No food.

The storm raged now, yet Ed had to focus. His fingers flexed around the old service revolver in his coat pocket. Lifting it out it surprised Ed how alien it felt, disconnected.

Her eyes opposite him shone with panic as he pressed the gun to his temple. Yet Ed was lost within the storm, barely able to discern the screaming over the waves.

Then the thunder roared.