Sunday, March 9, 2014

Flash Fiction Friday (late, as usual)

Not really a raft, no, but--come on. Use your imagination.
There was only water, and then, a small raft.

It began as a speck in the persimmon fanfare of sunset, barely distinguishable from the dips of waves. She watches without watching, without realizing she's watching, until the speck no longer fades. Becomes more than play of shadow in a world too golden to be real. More than a figment of starvation, dehydration. She blinks. It's still there.


Even a day ago she might have stood. Not to wave like the madwoman she's become, not to attempt to signal; there's nothing to signal with, anyway. No, she might have stood just to get a better view. With her head down on the sand--cold because it's under the palms, which feels good during the day but has begun to be uncomfortable now that the sun is leaving--the horizon is marred by the rocks on the shore. With her head down on the sand the crash of the waves and their unbearable, unstoppable rhythm obscure everything. Even the hunger. Even the certainty of her death.


She's too weak to stand now, to want to stand. She's been too weak for many things for days.

And what would be the point? Whatever it is out there in the water won't get close enough to see her, even if she stood. Nothing does.

But the raft keeps coming. She can't see it after a while because of the rocks, but she hears--yes, even above the waves--the other, also unstoppable, rhythm of oars. It's not the sight of the raft but this, the sound of its oars, that she closes her eyes to at the end.

Read (and join!) the other Skullduggery & Madness flashes here. Outstanding contributions every week.

17 comments :

  1. I especially liked the contrast of image with story -- and that line where she closes her eyes and turns away from the sound of the oars.

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    1. Thank you, Beth! So glad you liked it. Your take on the last line is revealing, too! I left it ambiguous on purpose, so it's nice to know what it conveyed for you. Thanks for reading and for the lovely comment :)

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  2. Oh, I really like 'too golden to be real' in that. Very nice take on it.

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    1. Thank you! Here in this island sunsets tend to be spectacular (even inland), and the world does turn "too golden to be real" for a few minutes ;) Thanks for the visit!

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  3. Is it bad that all I was thinking about is how I'd love to beachcomb that beach/island for glass, shells and rocks? ;) Great story Guilie.

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    1. Haha--not bad at all, JoJo :D Glad the pics gave you some daydreaming inspiration for today--and come visit!

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  4. Wow, I'm always stunned by how emotionally evocative your writing is.

    In a word, to me this piece is heartbreaking.

    Beautiful, and thank you so much for joining in!

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    1. Thank YOU, Ms. Monkey, for this weekly nudge in the direction of inspiration :) And for the ultra-kind compliment on my writing--means a lot :)

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  5. Magnificant rendering. I remember you from SSS.

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    1. Thank you! So glad you liked it--and yes, I remember you from SSS too! Thanks for finding me again :)

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  6. Beautiful, the writing and the images -- presented as well as evoked.

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    1. Ah, my favorite critter likes it! That makes my day :) These Friday Flashes are great for tapping into pure creativity. No editing (well, not much--you know me, I can edit a piece to death), no second-guessing, just a quick image, see where it takes you. Love them! You should join, Silvia. Would love to see what you come up with :)

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  7. Ohh the last is so touching... I felt as if that's the end for her. Beautifully written.

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    1. Thanks, Rajlakshmi! I left it ambiguous, but my sense was, also, that it's the end. Thanks for reading and commenting :)

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  8. Hi Guilie - have just heard of a Memorial Viking death recreated, and then another one at a Church in London, and having the Viking exhibition at the British Museum .. I see these burial deaths here in your story .. lovely and so well done .. the raft coming, the pebbly beach, she's waiting her time ..

    Well done - Hilary

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    1. Oh wow--yes, I can see that, too. I'm so jealous of all these exhibitions you have close to you... Never happens down here :( Post pictures? Pretty please? Thanks for the visit, Hilary, and for reading!

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  9. Wow. Great read. Just meandering through on my A-Z journey.

    HILL BLOCKS VIEW

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