Flash! Friday–Vol 2 – 1

WELCOME TO YEAR TWO!!! –Was it just me, or did anyone else feel the need to collapse for a looooong nap Wednesday night??? What a fabulous, amazing, incredible #Flashversary. Thank you again, and congratulations once more to Flashversary Queen Jacki Donnellan for the win! 

For the first quarter of Year Two, we’ve got a sparkly new rotating panel of judges in (mostly) this order: M. T. Decker, Whitney Healy, Erin McCabe, and Nillu Nasser Stelter. Get to know them! (Want to judge for Quarter 2? Apply here. Deadline’s Feb 15.) Today beloved FF writer M. T. Decker kicks us off–don’t forget to head to her page & help welcome her properly!

Raising the Stakes: And here’s the other thing you need to know for Year Two: you’ve proved you’ve got the chops, so we’re upping the challenge. There will still be a photo prompt, of course; but now each week you’ll also face the Dragon’s Bidding, a mysterious additional element to be included in your story. The element will change every week, so stay alert! A few dragons (not naming names here–coughcoughSMAUGcoughcough) are not very trustworthy. But to make things a wee bit easier, the required wordcount will be fixed at 150 words, plus or minus 10.

Other things will stay the same: Results post Sunday evenings. Flash Points, a feature in which an amazing FF story is highlighted, will post on occasional Mondays. Awesome #SixtySeconds interviews with the previous week’s winner will post Wednesdays.  I post my own stuff sometimes on Tuesdays or Thursdays “just for fun.” And YOU, dearests, are welcome every day! Always something new. 

Now let’s get to today’s contest!

Word limit150 word story (10- word leeway) based on the photo prompt.

HowPost your story here in the comments. Include your word count (140 – 160 words, exclusive of title) and Twitter handle if you’ve got one. If you’re new, don’t forget to check the contest guidelines.

Deadline11:59pm ET tonight (check the world clock if you need to; Flash! Friday is on Washington, DC time)

Winners: will post Sunday

Prize: The Flash! Friday e-dragon e-badge for your blog/wall, your own winner’s page here at FF, a 60-second interview next Wednesday, and your name inscribed on the Dragon Wall of Fame for posterity. 

***Today’s Dragon’s Bidding (required element to incorporate somewhere in your story; does not need to be the exact word unless that is specified):


***Today’s Prompt:

Sandy Straits Fisherman, ca 1920. Australian publid domain image.

Sandy Straits Fisherman, ca 1920. Australian public domain image.

118 thoughts on “Flash! Friday–Vol 2 – 1

  1. A Big Pond

    The day I died was a beautiful summers day. The water was glass, there was barely a ripple to disturb the sky. Then the shadow appeared and blocked out the sun.

    Movement caught my eye. I gave chase out of sheer instinct, I didn’t stop to ask questions. It’s not easy being a small fish in a big pond. A minnow darted in and out, frantic. I didn’t think I’d catch it, but then it stopped suddenly. I’d swallowed it before I caught the glint, by then it was too late. There was a sharp pain as I was dragged towards the shadow. I fought and I fought, I swam away as fast as I could, but it never let up. I only rested for a moment. I was ripped from the water, gasping for breath. The last thing I heard was a young boys laughter as his Dad congratulated him. I was his first, he was my last.

    159 words


  2. Fishin’

    “Son, do you like my bass?”
    “Sure, pa. But I like mine more.”
    “It’s your first, after all.”
    “I didn’t think it was this slimy.”
    “Hate it?”
    “Nah. I see why you love it.”
    “You find it funny how these guys laugh.”
    “Hah, but no. There’s no gigglin’ in critters chokin’.”
    “But I like how their jaws move up and down.”
    “First time I heard such a thing.”
    “Really? Then why do you fish?”
    “Sittin’ in the nature, wind rustlin’ near my ears. Jus’ me, the water, and silence. Eat or die.”
    “Tha’s why you sittin’ here for days. Ma worryin’ bout you all the time.”
    “Woman needs to know her place. Son, tell me why you enjoy seein’ death. Somethin’ wrong with your head?”
    “No, pa. Jus’ shows how strong we humans are.”
    “Sure nothin’ wrong with your noggin?”

    First time joining. Congrats on 2 years.


  3. Homesick

    ‘That one was a sport!’
    ‘Yes, Grandpa.’
    ‘You call me Capt’n on the water; Grandpa on land!’
    ‘Yes, Capt’n.’
    The old man’s laughter caught and spluttered in his throat.

    The boy looked to the horizon trying to quell his nausea. He thought of kids running on dry land, free from the stench, free from the sight of blood and guts and free from the squealing noise that now haunted him.

    ‘Same thing again tomorrow,’ said the old man.
    ‘So soon?’ the boy balked.
    ‘Conditions are right…Bus station, this time. Do your Little Boy Lost,with a pretty one. I’ll do my thing. You’re green. You just ain’t got the stomach yet, but you will. You will…Anyway, they get a proper burial like this…Sea Burial.’

    A spark of a memory ignites once more at the edges of the boy’s mind: the park; his mother there, not there; the pond; nausea rising as he cowers in a speeding car.

    160 words


  4. “Almost”

    The soft lap of water against the boat was maddening. More often than was safe, she’d considered abandoning her familiar perch on the boat lip for the silence beneath the water.

    Most would consider such thoughts morose, especially festering under black curls so young. But she wasn’t as young as she looked: almost 17 summers in her small frame.

    Almost 17 summers of hard work & harder hunger—the kind that folded her tummy, but worse: the kind that buckled her soul.

    Almost 17 summers of looking like someone she wasn’t on the inside.

    Almost 17 summers of being Jane, though she had never known this waifish woman staring back at her.

    But she had Burt, of short grunts & dark fingernails. Burt, of endless acceptance. Burt, who helped Jane slip wordlessly into the lake & brought Jim from the dark depths, dripping.

    Burt, who brought laughter into Jim’s life for the first time in almost 17 years.

    158 w/o title


  5. Erin Mccabe
    @ Disturbiakiss

    160 words


    Watching the hooked sprout rhythmically bob, I am forced to consider what a strange man my Father is.
    On the day of my birth he was miles away; a manoeuvre allowing him to maintain that all babies are born via stork. My Mother, of course, began detailing how birth had wrecked her body; he nodded, then commented that this was probably the result of beak inflicted stork annoyance.

    He always casts the vegetable first, followed by cake; the fish can’t fully appreciate the cake, without seeing the vegetable apparently, although I’m sure they don’t eat either; today’s catch certainly suggests so. I remember the day he dragged up a monstrous slick boot from the depths and pretended it was a fish; identifying the laceration marks as gills. I laughed so hard I was nearly sick, but Mum didn’t even smile when he proudly slapped it on the kitchen table and asked her to cook it.

    Next time I’ll bring worms.


  6. Chicken of the Sea
    (156 Words – Laughter)


    “Ya keep yer hands off me prize!” Gerard yelled at his youthful buddy.

    Bediah did not allow the old man to see tears threatening. They had fished as long as Bediah could remember. Since the contest had begun, Gerard had been mean. Bediah was getting tired of it.

    “Yo ain’t tho’ boss o’ me,” he whelped.

    “Ya jus’ ‘member how ’tis, boy!”

    The little fist landed with a thud on the old man’s shoulder. It was weak punch, but Bediah lost his balance and fell into the mucky lake water with a delicious “splat”. The fish, gills once again saturated, jerked to action, nipping Bediah’s bottom section. The squeal was ear-splitting. The fish, tether attached, swam to the depths.

    Amid the sputtering from the octogenarian, squeals of unfettered laughter were heard coming from the deck where the over-reaching lad had toppled. The only thing saving their friendship was the story of the one that got away.


  7. A Man’s Pride
    150 words

    Laughter was hard to come by those days. No time for giggles, not even for a little boy. We washed our clothes, our dishes, and the deck. We fished. We fished to survive, and to live.

    After Ma died, and Pa lost his work, all we had left was the boat. And each other. After that picture was taken at the dock, Pa rolled us each a smoke. My tenth birthday, I believe it was.

    I got my own boat that day, a pirogue. I felt more than happiness when I realized what having my own boat meant. From then on, I would feed myself. I’d become a man, and men didn’t giggle, much as they may want to.

    I always thought I was ahead. Too young to be a man, but ready anyway. Now I know why Pa did as he had. He knew he didn’t have long left.


  8. Grandpa’s Influence
    158 words

    He is beyond excited, sweetie. Dad showed him how the poles work, how the engines fire, went over life-vest safety. Of course the kid just wants to splash in the water and swim with turtles though. Dad is being patient though. You know him.

    You missed the big catch Dad got this morning; huge beast of a fish for this lake. Dad did his standard ventriloquist routine and for the first time in years in got a laugh out of it. The kid was belly laughing at the bit. It was great. I won’t tell him we’re going to be grilling that same fish tonight. Not ready for that chat just yet.

    Well, right now they are just talking on the boat before we head out. Hey, hold on just a sec.

    Dad. Dad! He doesn’t need to know ‘sailor jokes’ just yet. Why not? He’s seven.

    Sweetie, I really have to go before grandpa’s influence takes hold.


  9. Hooked
    150 Words

    We caught our limit and were heading back when we found the man drifting in the middle of the lake. His boat was taking on water, slowly but would be submerged by sundown. When Father asked what he was doing out her, the man shrugged and stared at the horizon.

    That’s when we noticed his oars were missing.

    Father asked if he wanted to be towed to shore. The man leaned back and lifted his sopping feet to the thwart. He smiled and said he’d appreciate it if we did. I tossed the rope over and the man tied a loose knot to the breast hook.

    Father scowled at his attempt but started out anyway.

    Just before we reached the shore, the man in the boat started to laugh. Father sent me to see what was so funny.

    He didn’t believe when I told him the boat was now empty.


  10. Clam Digging With Little Jon
    (160 words)

    Jon spent the morning in the hot sun digging clams on the island. Maybe this trip would bring some happiness back. Their life was a drab, joyless haze since the fever took their son. He didn’t fear the ghost stories about the island. He came because of them. Jon thought sorrowfully of digging with Little Jon on this same beach.

    A lone tourist towed Jon back across the Sandy Straights for showing him how to dig clams. It had been a long, hot row there so Jon let the man show his gratitude. The American insisted on taking Jon’s picture with the cod Jon helped him catch. Jon obliged, humorlessly holding the fish while the man scrambled into the trailing boat to snap the picture.

    Months later when the picture arrived, Jon and Sarah knew for sure what they suspected from the little creaks, and strange sounds haunting their cottage. Little Jon had come home that day. Finally, they smiled.


  11. A Fish Story
    “Have I told you the story about the ones that got away Pike?’
    “No you haven’t Bass.”
    “It was 1920, and i was in Sandy Straits. There were two of them, the smaller one was over four feet long and the larger one was almost six. It was a beautiful day, sunny, with a light chop on the water. I used my best lure to bring them in close to me. I hooked them! Cunningly I played them, letting them run out, then reeling them in again. They fought with every trick they had. They were tiring, when suddenly my line snapped! They fled at top sped. They reached the shallows and safety before I could reacquire thewm.”
    “What did you do Bass?”
    “I shrugged it off and invested in a stronger line. I did lose my favorite lure though. I almost split my gills laughing when I remember the expressions on the fishermen’s faces as they sped away in their boat.”
    159 words @EmilyKarn1


  12. Fishing

    Charlie was excited to join his father fishing for the first time. The two of them crowded onto the back of the small boat with their cheap rods, staring thoughtfully into the water as the boat rocked with the gentle swell.

    Three hours and not a nibble, though there was already a fish onboard for some reason.

    Ian placed his hand on Charlie’s head. ‘Son, this is not unusual I’m afraid,’ he said, ‘I normally catch nothing, other than a cold.’

    The boy looked up, ‘It’s okay dad, it’s nice to be on the boat and watch the water.’

    ‘Exactly,’ Ian laughed, ‘Don’t tell your mother, but I don’t like fishing much really. It’s an excuse to get away from your mum. Have some time to myself.’

    Charlie laughed. ‘Mum knows I think, I’ve heard tell Uncle Eric that she loves it when you go fishing.’

    Ian’s face drained as he looked at Charlie, ‘You don’t have an Uncle Eric.’


  13. Gone Fishin’

    My stepdaddy caught a fish so big, the newspaper man come and took a picture of it. That weren’t when the trouble started, though.

    Mam, she was happy at first when he brought it in ‘cause it meant we’d eat tonight. Then, stepdaddy, he cut the fish open.

    “What’s this here?” he said. “Why, it’s a pretty little locket.”

    “How’d it get in the fish?” I asked.

    “Well, this here fish is a bottom-feeder. Probably swallowed it by accident after someone lost it on the lake. Let’s see what’s inside.”

    Mam begged and pleaded with him, but he opened it anyway. He started laughing, kept on laughing ‘til tears run down his cheeks, ‘til his heart done stopped, locket clenched in his fist.

    Mam cooked that fish, and we picked its bones clean while waiting for dark so’s we could take stepdaddy’s body out to the middle of the lake. This time, we hoped, the locket was gone for good.

    @unspywriter (Maggie Duncan)
    160 words


  14. The Catch (158 Words)

    There’s Grandpappy and me on his boat. That was back when we all lived in the big house. Everyday Grandpappy fished the Australian Bright while Daddy went to work in Ceduna. Mama kept house. Grammy had run off to Sydney, but we never talked about it.

    Whenever I could, I’d go with Grandpappy. I loved sitting on the creaky boat, rocking on the green water, and that first tug when I knew something grabbed my line. When we caught enough fish, Grandpappy would head back while I’d sort the catch: big fish for selling, and small ones for us.

    I still remember the day I found the fancy locket with pretty purple stones inside a fish. “Laughter” was engraved on it. Funny, but it had my Grammy’s initials on the inside and looked just like the one she wore in her wedding picture. I never said a word to Grandpappy. I just put it away in my pocket.


  15. Remembrance

    The old cardboard broke, sending dusty, cracked books tumbling on Beth’s foot. “Ow!” She tossed the box remnants to the side, hop-twirling up and down, lip bit to capture the curses that threatened to spill.

    The sharp pain dulled to an ache, and she glared down at the offending object. An old photo album lay open, revealing a black and white picture of her and her father on a fishing trip long ago. Her eyes softened as she gathered the forgotten memories in her hands.

    “Honey? You okay up there?” her husband, Cliff, called.

    Beth climbed down from the attic, displaying her found treasure. “I think we should take Layla and visit Dad.”

    Cliff pursed his lips. “Do you think he’ll know any of us?”

    A soft chuckle of sadness escaped. “No…but he’s my Dad. It doesn’t matter if he knows because I will.”

    Word Count: 152


  16. @jujitsuelf
    159 words

    A Better Man

    That kid’s my stepson Alfred. I married his mother and hated the sight of him for a while. He yapped at me from dawn till dusk. But, time went on and we got used to each other. A good kid, he was.

    First time I took him fishing, he turned green and couldn’t even hold the fish I caught. I said he had a weak stomach, that he wasn’t as much a man as me. He got better, braver. ‘Fore long he was gutting everything we caught and showing off for his Ma, laughing and proud as could be.

    Then the war came, even to our quiet bit of the world. Alf went off to do his duty. Joined the Navy, he looked right smart in his uniform. A torpedo sent Alf to his death in the North Atlantic. He had a stronger stomach than me and he was far more of a man. Lord, I miss that kid.


  17. “Is’t the sem one that et Momma?” It had been a pretty springtime day when Tyra had come down to the lake to do the washing. Her disappearance had been the central fact in his young life and he’d been waiting for today with all of the patience of a caged cave troll.

    “You bet. Only one dragon around these parts since Grandpaw’s grandpaw was a babe.”

    There she was – no dragon could ignore the treat I had on my line, brought in from the best fishing grounds I knew. She rounded the hill, settling her bulk on the gravelly beach.

    And then she did something so familiar, yet so unexpected. I’d seen Tyra roll her eyes at me a million times, and her laughter rang off the hills. “I should have known it was you. I’m supposing you want this.”

    As her maw opened wide, I caught the glint of Tyra’s locket, the chain looped around a vicious-looking fang.

    160 words


  18. Toeing The Line
    Margaret Locke (@Margaret_Locke)
    152 words

    Mama always was tellin’ us to warsh up, but we never did listen much. What was the point? We was just gonna get dirty again anyway.

    Besides, Uncle Lester knew the trick fer catchin’ the biggest fish, an’ it was this – stinky feet. “Don’t tell no one,” he said, “otherwise they’ll be eatin’ our dinner. The stinkier the toes the better, because them fish, their noses ain’t so good below the water. You gotta have good an’ smelly ones ‘fore they’ll come up for a nibble.”

    I tried to do him one better by keepin’ all of me filthy, just in case. I’m thinkin’ he had a special odor all his own, though, ‘cuz he managed to catch the biggest fish anybody’d ever seen.

    Maggie laughs at me with my dirty shirt an’ grubby knees. But this here fish in my hand tells me I’m eatin’ tonight – and she ain’t.


  19. Fishing 101
    153 words

    On the way out, he told me he knew right where the fish were. When we anchored up on a bar I asked him, “Is this where the fish are?”

    “No,” he said, “the fish are not up here, they are down there—in the water.” I laughed and he scowled. “In all my years of fishing I have never caught a fish on a line that wasn’t in the water.”

    “How do you know they are in this water?” I persisted.

    “I imagine they are.” He said. “Only way to find out is to get your line in the water.”

    I caught my first fish, and sure enough, grandpa pointed out my line was in the water when it happened.

    It was a great lesson. I got admitted to law school, married my wife, and ran for the senate by remembering how important it was to keep my line in the water.


  20. Dinner
    150 words

    Well, well, well: a fish and a brace of crunchies.
    Dinner sur la mer.
    But which to cook first? There’s nowt worse than charred roast, burnt toast, or fish barbecued to too crisp. And while I cook one the others escape into the sea.
    The fish doesn’t wriggle and nor does the boy, and the man stares back like he’s stone, bone, defiant and nowt more.
    The fish doesn’t move and I curl my lip. The boy sweats beneath his flop-flop hat.
    I like that sweet smell. I lick my lips – the boy.
    “Just give him the darn fish,” he hisses through teeth – he’ll jump…
    Whump – whoooooshhhh… singed, cloth scraps floating on embers, tongue wrapped around the best prize.
    Fish floating, the man sinks and thinks: ‘Like I said, boy, you so much as move an inch that dragon’s gonna wrap his laughing gear all around you.’


  21. Out Fishin’
    Words 160

    We’d been out for a good six hours and Pa’s face was as pink as pomegranate. He was reeling in, jokin’ about having ol’ sheep Milly for dinner when Pa caught a good’n. We’d just got the slimy beast over the side when another boat pulled up. Now, you don’t see many proper ladies on boats like ours, but there she was, like a pearl in a scrappy oyster. The sun backlit her, she had one hand atop her floppy hat and a breeze flagged at her dress. I looked to Pa to make sure I wasn’t dreamin’. He saw her alright and I swear his face had gone pinker.

    “Good evening, Lads!” she grinned, “Would you mind if I took your photograph?”

    She chatted as she lined up her box camera. After some clicks she gestured to the fellow steering the boat and waved us goodbye.

    “Who was that, Pa?”
    He winked at me, “The one that got away.”


  22. Catch of the Day

    Grant couldn’t make it stop, and he should have been used to it, but the twittering was still distracting. Focus.

    Deliberately, he drew stale air into his lungs. Focus.

    There was work to be done. Jittering fingers rifled through papers, seeking the next piece in this puzzle of history stacked before him. He had to make sense of it.

    Ink-stained fingers opened the leather-bound journal filled with his notes, and still the hushed giggling persisted.

    Just look. At this picture, see? What do you see?

    A black-and-white photo drifted to the top of the pile, coaxed by the dance of his fingers. A man, a boy, a boat. Out on the water, in raggedy clothes. He jotted the details down, for posterity.

    The melodic tittering continued.

    Look, Grant. Focus on what you see.

    His fingers stilled on the fishermen’s faces.

    What do you see, Grant?

    For a heartbeat, the laughter stopped.

    Death, the voice inside him answered.

    (160 words; @AriaGlazki)


  23. Flash! Friday judge’s entry, for your reading pleasure

    The Truth that Lies Beyond
    152 words

    “Dad, you do remember that I caught that fish, right?” Jan asked his father solemnly.

    “I know son, but no-one’s going to believe that you caught something that’s almost as big as you are…”


    “There aren’t no but’s about this son. They’ll claim they’re happy for ya, but they’ll never believe it. The world just ain’t fair that way.

    Jan nodded again, the laughter leaving his eyes.

    His father smiled and elbowed him in the ribs. “Don’t let it get you down son; you just have to learn how to play it.”

    Jan frowned, waiting for his father to clarify.

    “Just think about it: we live in a country that was populated by criminals an’ liars. If I say I caught it, no way they believe me, so the only option is to accept the truth—that you did.”

    Jan’s smile reappeared as he realized the truth behind his father’s words.


  24. From the Waters

    Joyous laughter echoed across the water and soft childish murmurs cajoled and beckoned.

    David’s head turned unconsciously, solemn eyes searching the shoreline, yearning clear in every line of his body.

    Grandfather tossed the fish into the boat with a displeased grunt, reached over and wrapped a wide hand around a slender wrist, anchoring the boy to him.

    A sigh hitched in the boy’s chest as he slumped and I felt myself echo it.

    We were safe out here on the water, protected from whatever had started taking the town’s children, but it had taken a toll on David who’d become quieter and quieter over the months.

    Each day, the laughter called and it became harder to keep the boy from joining those who’d disappeared.

    I didn’t want to lose David, but as I looked into my son’s wan, unsmiling face, I wondered if it would be worth letting him go if it meant hearing his laughter once again.


  25. Nothing But Our Skins
    159 words

    Emily wrinkled her nose as her father clambered into the other boat, bellows camera in hand, but she didn’t move when he shifted from place to place until the flash of the lens almost blinded her as it immortalized her grandfather’s catch.

    “Mama’s gonna ask how you caught that fish,” she told them and her Dad shot her a sickly grin.

    “Well, we’ll just tell her we caught it the old fashion way,” he offered up.

    Emily rolled her eyes so hard her head hurt. “That’d be lying and that’s a sin,” she pointed out.

    “Your Ma doesn’t need to know about any of this,” Grandpa Bill offered up and Emily wondered why grown-ups were so dumb.

    “You’re bringing home a fish and you ain’t brought a line or bait, she’s gonna know,” Emily huffed as she trailed her toes in the cold water. “Plus our skins are wet and Mama hates having wet seal’s skin in the house.”


  26. The Water Runs Deep
    By: Allison K. Garcia and Christopher Baggott
    141 words

    Chains of laughter bubbled up from the depths. “They’ve been at it all day.”

    “The boat’s probably as empty as their heads,” Max snorted.

    “Watch your mouth, fellah,” Cornelius warned.

    “I’ll say what I want. You’re not my mother.”

    “I’d shut your trap before it gets you in trouble.”

    Max puffed up with anger. “You can’t tell me what to do.”

    Cornelius backed up a bit. “Fine. It’s your funeral.”

    “That’s right. I’m top fish here.” A gurgly snicker escaped Max’s mouth.

    “Not for long,” Cornelius said as a hook snagged into Max’s chattering lips.

    Max jerked his mouth. “Help. I’m stuck.”

    Cornelius shook his head and looked over at Nick. “My mother always said, ‘Glub glub-glub. Glub-glub-glub-glub-glub.’”

    “Translation, please. I don’t speak Tuna.”

    “Stop kibitzin’ and keep your eyes open.’”

    Max flailed hopelessly and breathed his last gillful of water.


  27. The Boat or Me
    (160 words)

    I mustn’t wake the man whose embroidered shirt says “Roland.” My head still kills; it’s either from that or the night mist that the tyrant’s palace on the shore looks soft and waving.

    When Roland helped me stand earlier he said I hit my head on the mast. He looked me over, breath reeking, and we fished. I was glad I could face away and hide my terrifying confusion.

    Our resemblance was in my reflection on the water. I’m sure he’s my dad. But he’s pitiful and curses too much. I don’t remember anything, but I know how a father should be.

    When we coasted near the palace I heard laughter and saw dancing through windows. Roland whispered that the tyrant lets people fish his lake and keep all but the biggest from each catch. If the best fish isn’t surrendered I hope he takes the fisherman’s next most precious thing.

    I must be quiet in freeing our caught fish.


  28. REEL

    “Remember the day, Pops, we both caught Cocky Salmon? That were the day!

    “I kicked off me Wellies to toe-grip the deck. Never seen ‘em again. But we reeled in our Cockies!

    “So, we ‘ad the harbor master take our picture. And then we carried home the Cockies to ‘ave Gram gut and fry. She found that thing in the Cocky’s belly. Big as a dilly bag it were! With layers and smooth fluted edges, and a shine to it.

    Remember we held the thing up to the light? You could see clear through it, like it were a movie scene. You could see us fishing that day.

    “You could see us reel in the cockies and Gram guttin’ ‘em. Then you could see Gram with that clear thing that we held up to the light.

    “Remember the day, Pops, we both caught Cocky salmon? That were the day!


    WD CT = 150 exclusive of title


  29. To Laugh or Not to Laugh
    160 words

    It’s not a question of whether my situation is funny, really, but rather my perspective.

    This undignified and truly humiliating ride in this minuscule dinghy, being pulled by the slowest little fishing boat in the entire world, is nothing compared with my other ills.

    The stares of the man and his son – I’m assuming, since they only speak in incomprehensible grunts – are only mildly disturbing compared with the hateful eyes of my enemies.

    Don’t even get me started on the fish – horrible, disgusting creature! It won’t stop staring, its beady eyes accusing and unrelenting.

    And to be dragged unceremoniously from the water – Why had I chosen water? – and flopped onto their boat as though I were a fish myself.

    And yet, as I look at the fish, I see only my certain death in his domain and his in mine. Whose position is more enviable? I am too much the coward to try again.

    I laugh, for otherwise I’ll cry.


  30. Reblogged this on Chica Creativa and commented:
    The Water Runs Deep
    By: Allison K. Garcia and Christopher Baggott

    Chains of laughter bubbled up from the depths. “They’ve been at it all day.”

    “The boat’s probably as empty as their heads,” Max snorted.

    “Watch your mouth, fellah,” Cornelius warned.

    “I’ll say what I want. You’re not my mother.”

    “I’d shut your trap before it gets you in trouble.”

    Max puffed up with anger. “You can’t tell me what to do.”

    Cornelius backed up a bit. “Fine. It’s your funeral.”

    “That’s right. I’m top fish here.” A gurgly snicker escaped Max’s mouth.

    “Not for long,” Cornelius said as a hook snagged into Max’s chattering lips.

    Max jerked his mouth. “Help. I’m stuck.”

    Cornelius shook his head and looked over at Nick. “My mother always said, ‘Glub glub-glub. Glub-glub-glub-glub-glub.’”

    “Translation, please. I don’t speak Tuna.”

    “Stop kibitzin’ and keep your eyes open.’”

    Max flailed hopelessly and breathed his last gillful of water.


  31. ~~~ Christmas Fish ~~~

    Oi! Aye, that were me as a wee bugger! Christmas Day, 1923 that were; as glorious a summer’s day as you could hav’. That’s me gran’da beside me holding that whopper o’ a fish. Biggest bugger I’d ever seen in me life. Gran’da said twas the biggest Murray cod he’d seen fer years. ‘N he said that meant twas old. Who knew where all that fish had been ‘n’ wha’ he might’a seen in his day?

    Twas a shame, it were, but a bloke’s gotta eat. So we set that ol’ fish by the billy ta clean ‘im fer Christmas dinner. Gran’da opened ‘im up stem ta stern, ‘n’ out popped this right lovely jewel! A necklace it were, fit fer Queen May as was. Gold ‘n’ sapphires ‘n’ an opal I swear had dragons chasin’ each other inside it.

    ‘N didn’t we dirt-poor grubbers laugh fer joy at our Christmas gift from God ‘n’ Cod!

    © 2013 Beth E. Peterson
    156 words


  32. GEEK ALERT!! Just a couple of interesting things I ran into writing this — Murray cod are the largest of Australia’s freshwater fishes (which they have relatively few of, interestingly enough). They were tremendously overfished in the 1880’s and the population crashed badly. Murray cods also grow their entire lifetime, which can be quite substantially long. Finally, the British Queen consort at the time was Queen Mary, who was informally also called May. 😀 I love esoteric information!!


  33. Poachers
    “There’s poachers stealing from the nets.” I told my son, “ keep an eye on the other lines while I’m gone.”
    He giggled taking the ship’s wheel. Only ten, he was skilled enough to handle himself. I took my rifle and the skip, heading to my lines. “Stealing from my lines, well I plan to stop it.” Fishing provided my family’s livelihood. I couldn’t afford someone stealing, no fishermen could.

    I saw the thieves boat and cocked the rifle. When I got closer I saw the old man and a little girl. They were pulling a fish from my net. I slowed the skip to float up to them, seeing they were down on their luck. The old man looked at my rifle as the little girl moved closer to him. She reminded me of my own boy. “Take what you can,” I said, before heading back to my son.

    Congrats on reaching two years!
    150 words
    © 2013 Glynis Rankin


    • Hey Glynis, and welcome to Flash! Friday! so glad to have you aboard, and thanks for the kind congrats as we kick off our 2nd year. Note that the weekly deadline is Friday at midnight DC time, which means unfortunately you’ve missed the cutoff this week. However, I’m pleased to death you posted here. I love your compelling story showing us the MC’s change of heart & perspective in a time of desperate crisis. Hope to see you again next Friday!


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