Flash! Friday–Vol 2 – 37

YES! it really is Friday again. Can you stand it??? And what a marauding Friday it’s about to be! Thank you for stopping by to check out today’s prompt. As ever, I can’t wait to see where your mischievous brains take us.

Confession: today’s pic is a bit of a cheat again, and I’m terribly sorry about that. Pirates have a nasty habit of elbowing everyone else out of the way. You see, today in 1770 British explorer James Cook landed on Possession Island and claimed a rather large chunk of Australia in the name of King George III. Poor James was most certainly not a pirate, at least not technically, though surely he met a number of them in his day. Still, it’s hard to match him for mappery and brilliant navigation; no doubt he was voted Least Likely to Be Marooned on a Desert Island by his high school peers. Please therefore consider today’s unhappy buccaneer a salute to what dear JC was not.


Heading up the sea rovers as judge today is our own swashbuckling Aria Glazki. As she loves realistically motivated characters and vivid descriptions, today’s madcap trove of tales will most certainly keep many (though probably not all) of you from walking the plank. Read more about her personal preferences here.   


Awards Ceremony: Results will post Sunday. Noteworthy #SixtySeconds interviews with the previous week’s winner post Wednesdays.  I (Rebekah) post my own unbalanced writings sometimes on Tuesdays or Thursdays. And on Mondays, one of your own tales may be featured at #Flashpoints.  

Now, grab a pegleg and let’s get to it!

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 flame-written 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(s) unless instructed to do so, e.g. “include the name “Blackbeard'”):


***Today’s Prompt:


Marooned, by Howard Pyle, 1909. Public Domain.

Marooned, by Howard Pyle, 1909. Public Domain.

431 thoughts on “Flash! Friday–Vol 2 – 37

  1. Answered Prayers

    Alone. Thirsty. Hungry. I would kill for a bite. The thought brought a morbid laugh.

    My mom prays for me, that must be the explanation.

    We were celebrating successfully pirating a merchant. Few of us were sober enough to realize we were heading for disaster. Drunk men can’t climb masts. Those who tried dropped into the drink, where sharks had gathered.

    As the ship broke up, I watched my shipmates die. I climbed the main mast and sat in the crow’s nest. I knew eventually it would fall over. I would be another red stain in the salty sea, like so many I had caused.

    When the mast fell, I found myself in shallow water. I ran onto this sandbar, just ahead of the sharks.

    Saved. Relieved. Hungry. I smiled to myself that my mom’s prayers were answered.

    Then I realized it was low tide. It occurs to me now, merchant seamen might also pray.

    155 words


  2. Tamara Shoemaker
    Word Count: 160


    Red is the color of mutiny. The shade of arrogance.

    This morning, its hues reflected in the faces of the men as they shouted, rioting on the main deck, the heated fury bleeding through their words, their eyes following me, their reluctant leader.

    This morning, crimson hands dripped life-blood as they released the knife that never intended its target.

    Trembling fingers flush now as I stare at these traitorous hands. These palms that rub through the sand, straining to erase the marks of my temper.

    I did not intend mutiny. But what a man intends so often sinks, lost, beneath heated actions and words. The payment is here: life, followed mercifully by quick death, on an empty beach. One shot rests in the chambers of my pistol. I will not miss.

    This morning, I wore red. The shade of blood and anger.

    I watch as the crimson stains my hands to darkness, and the ship sails into the red sun.


  3. *** Judges entry – just for fun ***

    Hook, line and sinker

    “What did ye call me?”
    This requires a delicate touch, “I said you are a pathetic excuse for a Captain, possessed with all the charm and personality of pubic lice.” Nailed it.
    He’s making that face where his beard twitches uncontrollably. This entire plan hinges on me not being worth the effort to stab.
    “How would ye like to be the captain of yer very own island?”
    Hook, line and sinker, “No please no, have mercy!”
    “Marooned it is. Set a course for Dead Mans Island.”

    There’s just one island for miles, and you can only get to it with a ship larger than I could afford to hire. As they throw me overboard I wonder where the treasure is buried. I’ve got plenty of time to look for it. I can hardly believe how easily I outwitted those idiots!

    As the ship sails away the Captain chuckles to his crew, “Another fool after the treasure. When will they learn!”

    160 words


  4. The Loner
    (144 words)
    We looked away while he focused on worms and turned them into smoke. We wrung our hands and said he just needed a friend, when he hugged next door’s cat until its ribcage broke into little spears and pierced its tiny lungs. We moved him out of the twin bedroom when he collected wasps and his brother collected stings. We thought we knew better and swapped schools, when teachers began their subtraction- isolating the boy who bit skin through cloth like a dog.
    We changed his school twice more, when he was inclined to stand and stare at the little girls in the little girls’ room.
    We hid our own bruises and had sleepless nights listening for his approach to our room, or worse still, his sister’s.
    And we moved neighbourhoods, when we saw him hold next door’s baby like he’d held their cat.


  5. The Place In-Between
    160 words
    Brian J. Hunt

    I look down at the coat in the sand, the last evidence that the Captain had ever existed. I know I should give in, like he and the rest of the crew had, but I can’t. Dammit, I won’t.

    In this dread hour, in this terrible expanse of sand, I can still hear the voice of my father preaching fire and brimstone from the pulpit, haranguing us about evils and lusts. Well I had lusted, and worse, I had acted on my desires. Women and gold I had known, until my ship foundered under the guns of the British.

    My father suddenly appears in front of me, “Have you forgotten the other sermons son, the ones where God loves you?”

    “Can he still love the likes of me?”

    He reaches his hand down to me, “I’m here aren’t I?”

    I take it and the expanse of sand is empty again except for a coat and bandanna being covered by sand.


  6. “Home Page”
    158 Words

    It’s called a care home.

    It’s never been a home. Care is but a mission statement, a corporate philosophy, a paper-thin reassurance to those that need to believe, who need to trust.

    The worker straps a pirate hat to me. I’ve learnt not to struggle with them, but sometimes my mind is absent. I immediately regret my resistance.

    “Put the hat on, Terrance, you old git,” the female says, as the male grins, pressing me down, “it’s for your benefit, you know, nobody likes this charade.”

    Was I this arrogant at their age? The elderly were born old, and never lived.

    Prising my mouth open, they force-feed me the pills to keep me sedated and compliant.

    My memories will soon fade with my being. Not long now.

    I am on a shore, overlooking an ocean of flotsam – personal irrelevance, forgotten memories and loss. Through the detachment of medication, I dream…new lands, pirates, freedom and the endless waves.


  7. Untitled; 117 words

    Like a wound his red sash cuts through the sand. Carrion avoid him, for now. Later they will feast.

    He sits, bowed by despair. Devoid of his youthful arrogance. Beaten into submission by the heat and the dust. His horizon blurs. The sand and sea merge into one enemy. Beyond dry, his lips stick to his teeth. His gullet feels scoured by the sand, blistered so much that every breath is agony.

    He thinks of who might miss him, and shakes his head. No-one. Orphaned as a toddler, battered into adulthood by his uncle, the sea was his only friend. Now even that has deserted him. Cruelly lapping at his feet, taunting him with the devil’s water.


  8. Marooned

    ‘Hey, freak. Look where you’re going, yeah?’

    ‘Oi! We’re talking to you, man! Where you going?’

    ‘I just wanted –’

    ‘Nah, nah, nah. Get back here. What you got there?’

    ‘Just – just my homework, okay? N-nothing –‘

    ‘Whoo-hoo! Freako’s got a book.’

    ‘Oh, yeah? Give it here. ‘Marooned’? Looks like old rubbish, man.’

    ‘It’s v-vintage science-fiction, f-from –‘

    ‘Whatever, man. Space? Gotta be weird.’

    ‘Freako. Never talking to nobody. You too good for us, are ya? You special, or something?’

    ‘N-no. Of course not.’

    ‘Yeah, right. Stuck-up. That’s all you are.’

    ‘Be careful with the book! Please! It was my dad’s!’

    ‘So I shouldn’t do this, then?’

    ‘No – please!’

    ‘Hoo, man! Nice one! Cover’s ripped right off.’

    ‘Got something to say, freak-boy? Geek boy? Nah?’

    ‘Not goin’ to lower yourself to speak to us, eh?’

    ‘Whatever, man. Let’s roll.’

    ‘Later, loner.’


    I pick up the pages, alone. I gather my things, alone. I keep breathing, alone. I live.

    160 words


  9. Life is like a box of chocolates

    Stupid. So stupid. Every bone in my body said don’t get off but panic defies logic, or was it just sheer bloody arrogance? Why didn’t I ask someone? I watched the inter-island ferry slowly pull away. Some people waved, I waved back enthusiastically like those tiny people on huge cruise liner decks do.You just wave don’t you?

    Maybe I’m not wrong. I walked a couple of miles inland. Nothing. No signs of habitation. No shops. Just a few ragged sheep. Never mind, they’ll be another ferry soon, hope I don’t miss Ed’s fancy dress party. I sat on the sand. Four hours passed. Then six. Where’s the damn ferry? I mean – after all – this is the bloody UK not some foreign country!

    In the distance, a lone seal warily observed me from the water.

    As the ferry sailed away the ferryman remarked to a regular,

    ‘Do you think Robinson Crusoe knows there’s not another ferry until next Tuesday?’

    (160 words)


  10. Piracy

    Sand under Bertram’s fingers, the sun bleaching his view. Cool water flowing teasingly beyond the barrier. Not for the first time he felt like dying. The ship floats into view, the crew’s excitement carrying across the stillness. Bertram raises a weak hand, drawing their attention.

    Their laughter sparkling, cannons swiveling, training upon him.

    An inevitable fate, wrought from a life spent earnestly toiling, believing in the lie he had been sold. Yet here he was cast adrift, a man fading into oblivion.

    How dare he fall ill? A period of sympathy followed by castigation. He was unclean, a leech, an undeserving cancer at the heart of society.


    The cold looks, arrogantly stamping forms declaring him FIT FOR WORK, the threat of impoverishment making Bertram kowtow.

    The water sprays hit him full in the face. Children’s laughter, Bertram forces a smile out.

    He wants to scream.

    Instead he waves farewell, watching them depart.

    Until the next ship floats into view.

    160 words



  11. Paradise Island

    ‘An earthly paradise…’ they say, watching the azure waves caress the white sand. 

    I was on a cruise when Ed crossed my path. Simon was nice and doing quite well. Ed, however, had pizazz. ‘Come and see my island.’

    We sailed to Smuggler’s Island in Ed’s yacht as the sun slipped into the sea. I gazed at his cream linen suit, his deep tan and his neat black beard. My prize.


    ‘Same again?’ I brought another round of beers.

    The boat’s horn sounded, and I was alone.

    ‘Just until I get a new barkeep.’ Ed had said. ‘Back in two days.’

    It’s been two years. 

    At season’s end, the waves pummel the beach and I live on tins until the tourist boat comes. Once I boarded, but the captain is one of Ed’s men.

    ‘When will he come?’

    He shrugged. ‘Girl in every port.’

    I look at the awning hook. I’ve been honing it on the rocks. 

    I’ll be ready.

    Liz Hedgecock
    160 words



    Brian S Creek
    145 words

    Damn the heat.

    I’d give anything for shade right now but the sand bank I’ve washed up on holds no refuge from the scorching sun. As my skin roasts I sit and watch the gentle waves that are now the bars to my prison.

    Beneath the surface lays the remains of my ship, smashed to pieces in last night’s furious storm. Nothing much left now but the dead shipmates and splintered timber that litters the seabed.

    Of course there is still Bess; the once beautiful figurehead who has led my ship, bosom first, around this globe. We shared many adventures together, her and I and this is how I repay her. I let her down and now her scared face mocks me. How foolish I was to take on nature.

    With no food, no water and no hope of escape I await my slow execution.


  13. Cain at the Water’s Edge
    David Shakes
    160 words

    Sun bleached bones at the water’s edge; picked clean they’re almost beautiful.
    A ragged coat at his feet; dark wool still holds the scent of the departed.
    It stirs his hunger.
    Slowly, he rolls a useless coin between knuckles. Gold glints in the dying light. Somewhere else, a world away, they’d buried a box filled with such treasure. He’d never need it now; you can’t buy redemption.
    Four conspirators to cheat the aging captain. Three with the arrogance to believe they’d prevail. One, full of doubt, turned Judas.
    That was him.
    His reward for remembered fealty to be marooned here – his brother too. ‘Bad blood,’ said the captain and bad blood there was.
    He’d silenced his brother before the hunger.
    He’d waited. Hadn’t he waited?
    But how many times can one soul be damned?
    The mark of Cain is upon him and he’d choose this living purgatory above what is to come.
    The waves and his coin roll endlessly.


  14. A good place to die. (159 words)

    The pirate wasn’t alone. He had bread, water, and a loaded gun. He wasn’t on an island. He was on a large sand bar at low tide. He wasn’t dead. He arrogantly promised his executioners he’d never leave.

    Three hundred years later, Tom accompanied the tourists to one of the most remote and unspoilt places on the planet, with golden beaches and clear, turquoise waters, exploring swimming holes, waterfalls, and following forest trails.

    He told them the story of the marooned pirate who haunted the island. His gunshot is heard once a year, when the sea swallows up the island, on full blue moon tides.

    Everyone shuddered when they heard the shot as they were returning to the hotel, missing one member of the group. In his vacant room, he had left a message: ‘This is s a good place to die.’

    While under the submerged island, in the center of the Earth, the living dead planned their revenge.



  15. Tempest
    By Alissa Leonard
    159 words

    “I am not your slave! You’re going to kill us both-”

    “Don’t speak to me of bondage! You agreed to this. Keep your mouth shut!” Her shrill voice carried over the whistling of the wind, the crashing of the waves, and the creaking of the boards.

    Rain fell hard and fast, stinging my exposed flesh with each drop. “But we need to find a safe harbor! The boat won’t survive this!” I shouted.

    “It’s just a little rain. Keep going or default, then I own everything.” She whipped her hair around and turned on her heal, but slipped and fell on the slick surface. I laughed as she gathered herself and stomped to the cabin.

    The wave swamped the boat shortly thereafter. Threw me off. Presumably, she sank to the bottom still shut in the cabin.

    I’d like to think that.

    Either way, sitting here on this empty stretch of sand, all I can think is: I’m finally free.


  16. Oh Captain, My Captain – *** Judge’s Entry, Just for Fun! ***
    Margaret Locke (margaretlocke.com or @Margaret_Locke)
    159 words

    It was naive to have thought they’d never get caught, he realized now. Sailing the seas for so many moons, seizing booty without consequence, believing nothing could take them down.

    They’d gotten careless. Displayed themselves a little more brazenly. Laughed at the notion that some day the end would come, that some day they’d be challenged.

    He’d always imagined death would come at the hands of the enemy. But it hadn’t. No, it’d come from a careless caress, one he’d thought hidden.

    The crew mutinied, led by the first mate, the captain’s right hand. “Ain’t right,” he’d sniggered. “Men ain’t s’pposed to love one another that way.”

    They’d thrust a dagger through his captain’s heart, cleaving them both in two. They hadn’t killed him, though. No, they’d left him to a fate much worse than that: a lifetime on this island, with only his beloved’s coat for company.

    He bowed his head. “It was worth it, Cap’n,” he whispered.


  17. Before
    (WC 160)

    I am a pirate, riding a vibria of the Jolly Roger breed. She was a dragon majestic in her double wings, showing crossbones that darkened the sky and shadowed the ground. Seeing the lowly running in our silent passing, I grew in self-told confidence swooping from above to riches.

    I first noticed a change in the static of her skin and the temper of her flame. Then, in the distance was her champion. He was magnificent, a dark irradiant Jolly Roger drake. I would master him. In my arrogance, I knew he would be mine.

    I set a trap of legends using the vibria as bait.

    Now I sit abandoned in solitude, a pirate without the vastness of the sky. Alone, I am a castaway of arrogance. Seeking the dragon’s freedom, I was defeated by arrogance and love.

    “I am from the sky’s horizon. A lower horizon will be easily plundered, I am the pirate,” scratching my newly grown beard.


  18. Rubicon

    Well, that had been one hell of an evening! Cat thought to herself as she stared, boring a hole into the ground, her head thumping in double rhythm to the micro waves stroking the sand. She lifted her head and saw the previous evenings costume to her side, the wind covering it in golden grains, consuming it, gradually, but surely. This had been a great location for a party, this island, this planet.

    The sun was setting in front of her, but there were no shadows. She turned and looked behind herself, remembering, as another sun rose in the east. With no shelter, she was getting concerned.

    I can’t believe they left me here! They’ll come and get me. They can’t do anything without me, I’m their Captain!

    Loneliness, self-pity and a touch of despair were crashing in waves all around her, drowning her thoughts, her being, her island.

    John Tate
    149 words


  19. Three Cursed Siblings
    Three days on this blasted island from hell. Blasted by sun and coarse sand. I found brother Ethan’s bones and brother Jaime’s bones. Couldn’t tell them apart. At night they spoke to me and I knew I’d join them soon enough.
    Jaime said: Shouldn’t have sailed with him, you knew he left me here to die, his own son.
    I tried to tell him I joined the crew to avenge his death but Jaime moaned and howled and would not listen.
    Ethan whispered: You knew him for the arrogant, vicious pirate he was. Did you join to avenge my death or was there another reason? Did you think to win his favor by proving yourself better than your brothers?
    No no no! I wanted to cover my ears but was too weak to raise my hands.
    Jaime said: You are as arrogant as our father, girl.
    I shouted a curse at my father. It was the last sound I heard.

    160 Words


  20. Imaginary Distinction
    150 Words (minus title)

    The taste of silt mingled with salt clogged his throat causing water to shoot up and out of his nose. The sand rubbed his skin raw as he dragged himself up the beach and onto dry land.

    Images of the previous night roared through his head. Getting to his knees, he raised his fists to the sky.

    “What more do you want from a man?” he screamed.

    His worthless crew had been found in pubs around the harbor. His belief that his knowledge of the sea more than made up for their lack of sobriety had failed him miserably.

    A crab scurried near his feet, stopping to tap its claws on his toes. He kicked it, and a spray of sand flew up, caught the wind, and came back into his face.


    The legend he had built in his own mind had come to an end. Damn the fates.


  21. A Touch Too Much

    Jeez I feel rough.  Sex on the beach? More like puke on it. Here I am after eight hours at Ibiza’s best boat & club night, beached. The early promise, proud pirate mates, striding arrogantly down to the quay. The Cirque De La Nuit boat bobbed lazily in time to a slow funky beat. The chatter getting louder as boarding time grew closer, the expectation palpable in the air. Once on board the music cranked up and we set sail. The DJ rocked as the sun set, colours changing as I gawped from dance-floor to horizon. The pirate costumes were pulling the birds. Our moves were cool and we danced like we knew it. Magically we were transported from boat to Pacha… 

    Where it all went wrong. Sam, the bird I’d pulled, went home early and the club was rammed. No matter which room I tried, the magic had gone. That last shot was such a mistake.

    158 words


  22. The Captain
    160 Words

    “Goodbye, Jack Sparrow!” Angelica sang out, stepping into her row boat. She tossed a pistol onto the shore before pushing off.

    “That’s CAPTAIN Jack Sparrow!” the pirate crowed, retrieving the gun. One bullet.

    He looked up, shoved out his chin and leaned slightly backwards as he asked, “How did you manage to get off of that island?”

    She just smiled haughtily. “You know, it wasn’t nice of you to leave me all alone.”

    Jack opened his arms wide and grinned. “Pirate. You can always trust me to be untrustworthy.”

    She scowled and picked up her oars.

    “But what about my rum?”

    “You don’t get any!” Angelica shouted back at him.

    Stiffening, Jack aimed his pistol and fired it at her. It missed.

    Angelica laughed. “That’s an old trick, Jack!” She tipped her black cavalier hat and rowed off.

    And so Captain Jack Sparrow sat down in the sand. “This won’t be the last you hear of me,” he shouted. “Savvy?”


  23. The Pirate’s Lament
    140 words

    I am poor because I was born.

    I am an orphan because I was poor.

    I am rejected because I was an orphan.

    I am a desperate because I was rejected.

    I am a sailor because I was desperate.

    I am dissatisfied because I was a sailor.

    I am a conspirator because I was dissatisfied.

    I am a mutineer because I am a conspirator.

    I am a pirate because I am a mutineer.

    I am feared because I am a pirate.

    I am strong because I am feared.

    I am bold because I am strong.

    I am hated because I am bold.

    I am cast off because I am hated.

    I am alone because I am cast off.

    I am alone because I am a pirate.

    I am alone because I was desperate.

    I am alone because I was born.


  24. The Beautiful Spinster
    141 words

    They say no man is an island, but this woman is one.

    I am called The Beautiful Spinster. The rumors of my beauty have spread over time, and young men come from villages afar to get a look, or to prove the claim false. Whatever the original intention, one by one, they become compelled to win me.

    Their waves of advances swell with growing passion and crash, ineffectually, against me. Eventually, each suitor returns home, his bitter tale inflaming curiosity in those who hear it.

    In my own village, I am considered arrogant by the ignorant. They do not understand the power of the thwarted lust of a young man. They have no knowledge of the art of harnessing that power and converting it into the innocuous-looking cream that sits on my vanity, use of which will keep me beautiful, forever.


  25. Title: Shadow
    Count: 158 words

    Day 12: There is someone else here. Everywhere I turn I see him. Except at night. I don’t know where he goes at night.

    Day 15 (16?): He mocks me. He copies all my movements but it has a blank face; like looking into a mirror but instead of seeing my reflection there is just a dark hole. Arrogant bastard. I move an arm, he does the same. I walk away, he follows me. I walk forward, he stays one step ahead. Why won’t he leave me alone?

    Day 20-something: Please, friend, when you leave for the night wherever you go, tell Marian I’m sorry and should’ve listened to her. Tell her I love her and hope she’s happy. Tell her, please?

    Day X: You go away every night, friend, and every day I ask you about Marian. How’s she look? Is she happy? Answer me! Stop waving your fist back at me. Let me hear your voice.


  26. Washed Up
    151 Words

    There should have been a girl.

    Everyone knows this. When you wash up on a desert island you meet a girl stranded by a previous shipwreck, blonde, beautiful and wearing an outfit that she has apparently fashioned out of her handkerchief.

    That was why he had jumped ship. He was too good for life at sea, with its scurvy, rats and monotonously easy games of I Spy. He would find the girl and found an Eden.

    But now he sat dejectedly on sand that stretched endless and empty, like his future. There wasn’t even the obligatory single palm tree. Too late he reflected that urban legends do not apply outside an urban environment.

    Actually they do. At that very moment the girl was sitting under the single tree, calmly awaiting companionship.

    Sadly, it wouldn’t be with him. He had come ashore on Bikini Atoll, and she was on the other half.


  27. A Reversal of Fortune (158 Words)

    I sit on the vast beach, listening to the waves beat against the sand. Above me the sky is empty. Not even a gull calls out. I am alone, the picture of dejection.

    The arrogant fools have tossed me ashore and sailed into the wide ocean. The winds are with them, propelling them at good speed. Let them make merry and laugh at my misfortune.

    They expect me to die. I do not plan to oblige them.

    I shall conserve my strength and await the clipper I spied following in our wake. By my reckoning it will reach me by evening, time enough for me to start a fire. I shall use driftwood and the tinder I secreted along with the flask of rum.

    By evening the fools will be feeling the effects of the tincture of nightshade I used to poison their water supply. They will hallucinate. They will writhe in agony. They will perish.

    Good riddance.


  28. A Sidestep too Far
    by A J Walker

    Sidestep James was enjoying the banter with Paul, the new boy on the ship.

    Paul looked at the thick foul smelling liquour in his goblet.

    ‘This grog is so much better than the stuff we usually… hic!’ said Sidestep.

    ‘Now,’ he paused while remembering where he was going. ‘Now, the Captain is fair, mostly. But beware his moods. When his missing eye is a itching he is crotchety-cratchety. Give…

    …give him a wide berth.’

    ‘A sidestep?’

    Paul’s glowing awe made Sidestep arrogant.

    ‘Yep. Of course that’s what caused his missing eye ultimately.’

    ‘What, twas your fault?’

    ‘Shhhh… hic,’ Sidestep winked, ‘Yup, one of my famous sidesteps. Lance went straight through his eye.’


    There was a crash as the boxes they lay against were violent wrenched apart.

    ‘It was you!’

    That was the last repeatable thing Sidestep James heard from the Captain.

    As he sat marooned on his isolated kingdom he realised that his sidestep wouldn’t help him again.

    (160 words)


  29. Come Along, Now

    Though Peter had finally grown up – against his better judgment – his shadow had remained childish, running away from him at the most inopportune moments. He’d run miles along the sandy beach until the sea was but a thin, aqua line in the distance.

    Finally, he caught up to his shadow. Upon reaching the damnable thing, however, and reattaching it to his feet, his shadow collapsed onto the sand; an impetuous shade throwing a temper tantrum.

    Arrogant, obstinate little bugger. “If you don’t follow along right this instance, I’m going to leave you behind, once and for all.”

    Peter pulled and jumped, skipped and hopped, all to no avail. The sullen shadow simply would not cooperate.

    Frustrated and exhausted, Peter sat down in a huff. Taking deep breaths, he tried for patience and spoke in a cajoling tone.

    “If you follow now, I’ll take you swimming among the coral reefs.”



  30. The Mermaids.

    I would see you… And, tied to the mast, I did.

    I would hear you… And I do. Your siren songs as beautiful as ice raining from the sails of an arctic dawn.

    But… You should not have taken my ship, my crew; their eyes were bound, their ears were waxed, protected. You were meant to let us through the channel unmolested, sounding. You cheated! You cheated the dropping leads, tricked them to the reef despite my bellowed warnings. They were deaf! You had to let us through.

    Where is your honour ?

    Don’t laugh.

    I have seen the wicked wretchedness that lies beneath your beguiling magic; the pointed teeth, the pinching claws, not soft flesh but scales. I watched the frenzied feast, your sisters in the seething sea tearing flesh from flesh, red splashing, vanishing… my crew.

    I will look at you once more, if you give me back my cutlass.

    @CliveNewnham – 151 words


  31. I Am Therefore I Own
    By Rachael Dunlop @RachaelDunlop
    (159 words)

    I measure the days by the depth of the creases mapped across the palms of my hands. The sun, the sand, the salty sea, they all leech water from my very pores. I know the time of day by the passage of the sun. Of course. But the number of times sun has turned to moon and back again? I have no idea.

    A scuffle. I raise my head. A monkey, tiny, head cocked, regards me. Is this the delirium setting in, at last? It touches my leg with a paw as wizened as mine. If I had tears to cry, I’d shed them now. The touch of another living thing. In its other paw it holds, what? A leaf? Yes, a leaf, a plump blade, filled with soft, wet flesh. Water.

    I reach out, quick, grab the monkey by the throat. I’ll be hungry later, once my thirst is slaked. I stand and survey my island. My island.


  32. The Pirate
    160 words

    Again, I see a fabulous picture and think of the painting itself rather than the subject matter. My brain – broken.


    “Do not go near The Pirate.” Dennis’ dark eyes were solemn and severe. “Do your rounds but don’t look at that painting, okay?”

    “Okay,” I nodded.

    What was all the fuss about? It was just a painting. I’d heard stories from the other museum staff about weird stuff happening but they were just fairy tales. I was six feet tall, played rugby and had a brown belt in Ju Jitsu. Fairy tales didn’t scare me.

    The museum was eerie after closing. Painted eyes followed me as I paced the corridors and shivers skittered down my spine.

    The Pirate’s painting hung near the Security office.

    I didn’t look at it as I passed, just in case.

    But a sound behind me made me turn, laughter maybe? I realised my error as I looked into arrogant, malice-filled eyes. The painted pirate leapt from his frame and grabbed me, a wicked smile on his lips.

    My screams echoed in the silent corridor.


  33. Playing at Pirates
    160 words

    I know I sung the best at that audition. My pitch was perfect, my pronunciation couldn’t have been better, my breathing was spot on but no they chose Jason Pritchard. The only thing going for him is that he cosies up to the artistic director Flora “I once worked at the National Theatre” Flounders. It makes me sick to see him fawning all over her; she must be all of sixty.

    “Didn’t know you’d got a fiancée, Brian”

    Told him all about Bernice, hope Dave, my partner never hears about this amazing fiancée of mine. Told the other lads we were away celebrating Jason’s themed stag weekend. We all dressed as pirates, drank rum by the barrelful, sang sea shanties and rode jet skis. Best part was Jason missing the flight home, too drunk to wake up in time. I had to stand in and sing the title role in The Pirates of Penzance and by God I was good.


  34. “Alone”
    by Michael Seese
    159 words

    They’re all dead. And it’s my responsibility. Mine alone. I am the Captain, after all.

    The scalding sands — and the memory — may well have been the fires of Hell. With no clouds above, the sun is a relentless, yet honest, adversary. I wondered if I had erred. Should I have done otherwise?

    When setting sail, some of the more superstitious men voiced concerns.

    “Trafficking is wrong.”

    “They’re just children.”

    “Using them like that is against the laws of man. And God.”

    But lucre has a way of muting morality.

    As the storm turned their ship into kindling and their bodies into chum, the crew looked to me for guidance. They prayed I would help. I turned a blind eye. Indeed, not only did I ignore their pleas, I doubled my vengeance. Because they were right. Their actions were against the laws of man.

    And God.

    Such is the burden I bear as the Captain of all men.


  35. No Greater Fool

    I am the best buccaneer you could meet in this part of the world. I think the fellows were counting on me to take the helm soon. I could see them smile and whisper among themselves.

    Last night we celebrated. The fellows gyrated and tumbled over each other like falling timber. Revelry and Rum made me loose and limber, and I joined in their dance. The fellows beat time on the planks with their bare hands. Intoxicated with their adoration, I climbed the wooden pole and dived. All part of my dance move, but then a wave tossed me far away, and I couldn’t grab the sternpost to climb back. My yells dissolved in the merriment on the deck.

    The waves tossed me around, and moment of my glory vanished with the dimming lights of the ship.
    Sure, I am beat now, but the fellows will return for me. After all, they said I was full of hubris, didn’t they?

    160 words


  36. The Sailor’s Lament

    “This is most assuredly not my wish!”

    He smiled his too-wide smile, waved airily at the sea, the sky and the spit of land betwixt.

    “How so? You have discovered land, yes?”

    “Well, yes-“

    “And treasure?”

    I looked at the mass of fused gold projecting from the sand which, had I a vessel, would surely have scuttled it.


    “And beyond the reef, your crew feed Leviathan, as requested.”

    “I specified no witnesses, not-“

    “Then our business concludes, for now.”

    I ran, fists raised, crossing my island in three strides, but the sand snared my feet and I sprawled at his.

    Smiling, he tipped his hat.

    “Until next time sir…”

    I grasped his coat but it crumpled, empty, his form dissolving to a slash of bloody birds across the darkening sky, leaving me at once both victorious and bereft.

    I had all I desired, and nothing to do but enjoy it, until he returned for his half of the bargain.

    160 words


  37. “A Scorpion’s Dying Shade”

    Words: 159

    Sheila skittered over the hot sands, chasing the shade of my shadows. Dunes rolled on for miles, undulating as the sparse breeze pilfered grains of sand the way breaths steal dandelion seeds from their stems. I was nursing a canteen of my own piss when Sheila snapped her pincers. Her tail and stinger jutted forward, pointing ahead. Rippled by a heatwave, an ocean tide bubbled against the sand before us. Sheila scuttled towards the sea and I followed.

    At the shore, seagulls cawed above the white-capped water. I ran into the water, hands splashing as I went. “C’mon, Sheils, the water’s great.” The heat blurred her tiny figure dotting the ground. I went to splash at her but my fingers only caught sand. Panic seized my heart as the feeling of water against my legs evaporated. Collapsed onto my back, my limbs drew an angel in the desert and I whispered to Sheila, “C’mere. Come give me a kiss.”


  38. Marooned

    ‘Well fuck you, bitch!’ he screamed at the front door, standing in the hallway. ‘I don’t need you in my life either.’

    He waited for a split second, as if he expected a reply. As if she was going to come back in, argue for a while and then decide, first grudgingly, but soon enough wholeheartedly, to stay.

    ‘I’ve got my friends down at the pub. I’ve got my X-box and my PlayStation. I’ve got my free porn sites that, by the way, I don’t have to erase from my browser history anymore. Life is beautiful!’

    He pointed at the door with a righteous finger.

    ‘I don’t need to hear you talk about your day at work. I don’t need to watch that bloody Mentalist with you. I don’t need to come along to the daft parties of your friends. I don’t need you. You hear me? I don’t need you!’

    His words echoed in the empty house.

    158 words


  39. Bottom Of The Bottle

    It was Jack’s own fault. Now he was sweating it out; would that he could do the same for the leftover consequences, albeit not easily, either way. It had been simple until the first drink, the one after – and the one after that. Somewhere around the dregs of the bottle of rum he had slurred his way safely into oblivion, so he thought, until confronted by the concrete black and white on screen evidence to disprove him. He’d known without doubt he would survive the night without the lure of his lost love; his treasure trove – the longing to make that booty call. Now he knew better, courtesy of his call log – though not exactly what he might – or might not – have said or done. Just that it would need sorting, if he could bluff his way out of it, once he had managed to manoeuvre himself into something resembling humanity from hangover. He couldn’t remain marooned in uncertainty forever.

    (160 words)



  40. “Damn” by Joshua Bertetta

    The joke is definitely on me this time.

    I should have known not to trust that e-mail promising me a free cruise, pirate themed.

    But my wife and I haven’t gone on a vacation in years. So I convinced her; we packed light, not even a book.

    The captain of the ship introduced himself as Blackbeard. He didn’t have a beard.
    My wife didn’t like that one bit…The name that is, not the joke.

    The cruise started out a blast and there was even a guy with a real peg-leg. Blackbeard got me with drink—the yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum kind.

    I didn’t realize how, when they sang their pirate song, they looked at my wife. Blackbeard asked everyone the old question: if you were stranded on a deserted island, what three books would you bring. I answered.

    He drugged me, beat me black and blue, now I’m marooned and I haven’t a book to read.

    158 words


  41. Patrick leaned on the dock’s rail, looking through his hand telescope. “Jones is on the sandbar again.”

    Ben squinted out over the water and snorted. “Dressed like a pirate?”


    “Idjit. What kind of full-grown adults pretend to be swashbucklers for a Friday night of fun? And why the hell is he still out there this morning?”

    “Waiting for you. Because you lost that bet. And Jones is tired of you turning your nose up at his gaming.”

    “You aren’t making much sense, Sheriff.”

    Patrick just smiled, scooped up the duffel at his feet, and tossed it over. “Fine coat and breeches. Cutlass. Fancy hat. Powdered wig.”

    “Oh no. No no no. I am not — “

    “You’re an officer in the East India Trading Company. Find your best British accent and go get Deputy Jones off the sandbar. It’s his day to buy donuts.”

    144 words


  42. Isle of the Condemned
    Chris Milam @Blukris
    160 words

    The sun greeted me this tranquil morning with a searing kiss. The coconut trees frolicked in the breeze, producing a lazy melody that soothed. I watched the rhythm of the ocean, its waves heaving and groaning like a raging heart, as I sucked the juice from a ripe papaya. Lost in solitude, I thought of buccaneers, the vermin of the sea.

    The captain pawing at me, his breath sweet with rum, his eyes slippery and dark, like two orbs of black silk. When he dragged me below deck and whistled for the crew, I tasked myself with remembering faces, contours of bone, the patterns of facial scruff, the cadence of their drunken speech.

    The predators aboard La Bonita grunted with brutish delight inside my fruitful bounty of purity while the gold they worshipped remained hidden underneath the cerulean folds of mystery that comprised the Pacific.

    And not raking a blade across my throat would prove to be an arrogant miscalculation.


  43. The tide crept out slowly, pulled on by the heavens in a dance as old as the planet itself. One step up, one step back. I stared at the spot where the water had been, the beach cleansed anew, leaving no trace of what had gone before. I’d been a fool to think that she would change, that I could make someone like her love me. Night would come soon, and with it fog, and it would be time to head back to the dreary thing I called a life. Out on the sand, we’d danced, sipped champagne, made love, I’d said my goodbyes. Up there was a wife and a kid and a job where I moved papers from one box to another seven hours and twenty-five minutes a day. Maybe I should stay here, near the water, in the fog. One day they’d find me, but they’d never find her. The tide had taken care of that.

    159 words


  44. Carlos Orozco

    159 words

    “You’re crazy,” he says. “A damned loon.”

    “Ye know nothing,” I says. “I should’ve been capt’n of the ship. It should’ve been me ship.”

    “They should’ve killed you. Why didn’t they kill you?”

    “They’ll be back fer me. Ol’ Blackfist doesn’t know what he’s losing, leaving his best explorer marooned like this.”

    “They left you here to die. Look, there isn’t a tree in sight. The sun will bake you into the golden sands. You’re done for.”

    “No, they’ll be back. I have a nose fer treasure. I get the scent and become a man possessed. They wouldn’t dare lose that. This is just a scare to shake the mutiny from me boots.”

    “You’ve lost it. Just swim out to sea and end it.”


    “Ye think he’s dead yet Capt’n.”

    “He’s worse than dead.”

    “What can be worse than death?”

    “Isolation—It’ll drive any man mad. The desolate isle will feast upon his sanity ‘fore it’s through with ‘em.”


  45. Comet
    by N. E. Chenier
    167 words

    The curtain of dust shimmers like an aurora, draped so close I can touch it. Stars pierce it with their fierce light.

    The rubble mantle shifts under my back. Methane ice sublimates in streamers as the comet breathes around me. Girders of my shattered ship poke at the endless night.

    Don’t feel sorry for me. I am full, so full.

    “What about Miri?” he raged, but what he really meant was, “What about me?”

    When I left, Miri was starting high school. Now, her own children were probably getting married.

    How could I tell Miri to follow her dreams if I never followed my own?

    I followed mine here.

    “Come with me,” I said but knew he wouldn’t. The stars had never been his dream.

    Oort-ward, distance englobes the system. Planets collapse into the shrink-wrapped sun. Astral light embraces me with tiny dimpled hands.

    Embalmed in this suit, my body will one day make the long return so my great-grandchildren can collect the bones.


    • Ack! I had it in my head I could go into the 160s! Here it is at 160 words:


      The curtain of dust shimmers, an aurora draped so close I can touch it. Stars pierce it with their fierce light.

      The rubble mantle shifts under my back. Methane ice sublimates in streamers as the comet breathes around me. Girders of my shattered ship poke at the endless night.

      Don’t feel sorry for me. I am full.

      “What about Miri?” he raged, but what he really meant was, “What about me?”

      When I left, Miri was starting high school. Now, her own children were probably in kindergarten.

      How could I tell Miri to follow her dreams if I never followed my own?

      I followed mine here.

      “Come with me,” I said but knew he wouldn’t. The stars were never his dream.

      Oort-ward, distance englobes the system. Planets collapse into the shrink-wrapped sun. Astral light embraces me with tiny dimpled hands.

      Embalmed in this suit, my body will one day make the long return so my great-grandchildren can collect the bones.


  46. Why Captain Show Teeth Like Shark?

    One–leg cook think he better than captain. Go to moustache first-mate, promise better condition. No one-bread lunch, one-jug rum for one man on ship. First-mate stupid. First mate show teeth like shark, run to call crew. Captain sleep in captain-sleep time.

    One-leg cook supply bread for meeting. One jug rum added at not-lunch time. Crew show teeth like shark. Crew sit, crew talk in whispers. Crew want freedom. Crew want to touch women and children on ship. Captain blast hole in leg of crew that touch… crew hate captain. Me Like captain.

    Crew say cook new captain. Match to captain cabin. Captain wake up, one hand on shot gun. Crew take ship to far place.

    Why captain no plea? Why captain show teeth like shark? Ah-ah. See why captain arrogant when captain walk off, one hand on gun. Ship in no man’s land. Map under captain shirt. Crew foolish. Captain know ship be back for captain.

    @ifemmanuel (157 words)


  47. I had made it to dry land, but the sea still swirled in my ears and throat. The memory of the mutiny was as fresh as the sabre wound on my chest.

    The taste of my lover’s lips, indistinguishable from saltwater, from sand- now indistinct from that which coaxed his bright soul from its body, numb and unblinking. His pale face sinking into black water under a cruel shape of moon.

    It was better not to be marooned. It was better to be both of our glowing, weathered faces- plunging deep and snuffed out along with the treacherous nature of our disgrace. You proved your love in arrogance, and I bit my tongue a thousand times trying to say it. I know this taste to be regret, and privateers’ mouths are full of it.

    My love, there are things that I wish I had done differently… Beginning with: why the hell can’t two people fit on one floating door?

    159 words.


  48. TIME

    Had I not been so insolent, I would not be in this fix. Breaking waves upon this atoll prove my theory, but they do not improve my lot or my attitude. Oh, yes, the sand beneath me keeps me dry and the star above reminds me of passing time.

    Time. That was the argument. Now time passes in the number of waves in a pattern, and the number of patterns that fill the day. Had I not lost the skiff on the reef, I could have rowed to the next outpost using the waves and star patterns. My captain refuted my time and wave pattern ideas. Now I pass time with my theories like sand eddying down an hour glass.

    My captain demanded I take certain pieces of equipment on this journey. I chose the light weight boat for time’s sake. I chose the accurate power of the pattern observation in the waves over our neutron vessel’s global positioning system.

    WC = 160, exclusive of title


  49. Pirates Song
    There was arrogance in every line of him as he stood on the bridge of the ship while surveying the horizon with a critical eye. His hands ,however, were gentle on the ship’s wheel , almost, as a caress.
    Where had the day gone? Purples and dark peach streaked the evening sky. Salt air made itself know with every breath. The wind whipped his dark hair around his face and occasionally snapped the sheeting.
    So many years on this bridge, so many ships taken. Spanish Galleons with their gold. Dutch traders with spices, and the English with tribute to their King.
    His youth had come and gone like the tides. Still, he was content. Wealthy . There was no other life for him. He had sailed thousands of miles with this ship. His Ship.
    She was a beauty. Clean, fast lines. Triple- masted . Four anchors ,so she could hold her own in a gale.
    His Ship. “The Song”.


  50. Migration
    (158 words)

    Sky and Earth were so alone together that they had nothing better to do but bicker. Sky was fast, fluid; Earth a bulk of permanence.

    Sky liked to storm, spreading its lights and dark clouds into flowing tapestries.

    Earth laughed. “Do as you like, but you cannot hurt me. To prove your efforts are in vain I will make a small, vulnerable type of myself, that moves about but always under you, unlike my center which is my heart.” Thus Earth produced Man, who quailed and swooned with Sky’s mercurialness though did not die; instead, Man lived to find Sky beautiful and an object of wonderings.

    Man took Mans from Earth, becoming together Men. At last Men took from Earth’s heart, from which Men contrived means of entering Sky. In passing through, Sky itself died.

    And that is why, when you dig into our present Earth, say, around your house, you are not shoveling fingers, legs, and eyes.


  51. Pirate vs Ninja in the 28th Century
    [Judge’s entry – for your amusement]

    Captain Red Jake Rollintide left a trail of bootprints in the rich maroon sands. The alien sun had risen and set three times since his vessel had crashed from orbit. A plume of radioactive smoke still rose from the crater.

    Jack let loose another phlegmy cough. “Yarr,” he muttered — a curse in his native tongue. Though this world was (barely) terra-grade, chlorine levels of eighty-six parts per million took a toll on his lungs.

    “Jaku-san,” the disembodied voice spoke again. “Accept defeat, and I will offer my assistance.”

    Red Jake slumped to the dark sand, gasping for breath, the taste of his own blood on his tongue. “I’ll be pushin’ daisies ere I kneel to a bilge-rat like you, Shinobu.”

    “There are no flowers on this world, Jaku-san. The air, the waters all are poison.”

    Red Jake spat at the dark sand. “Shinobu Dakusuta,” he said in a raspy voice. “Your ninjutsu is weak.”


  52. A God In Ruins
    (157 Words)

    I rose, meteoric, in my creators’ eyes. Countless monsters slain, treasures found, wars raged, hearts won. All in their name. Until the day the face in my looking glass began to whisper and spur on my hubris. All these heroic deeds lain at stone idols’ feet, when I had been the one to earn them. Why? Why did the glory belong to them, when it had been won by my sweat, my blood, my toil? My men agreed.

    I rose, exalted, in their eyes. They called me chosen, blessed, god. They carved statues, wrote ballads, and lay offerings at my feet. I believed the stories that began to spin around me, my past, present, future, all mapped out in myth. Until the day of my last adventure, the day the storms came and my ship sank.

    I rise, alone, on the sandy shore. My followers drowned, my mortal body fading with thirst.

    I fall, broken, to the ground.

    ~Taryn Noelle Kloeden


  53. Failure on Nexius 7 Prime
    Or Why the Pirate Planet Bought the Big One

    Evan Montegarde

    160 words

    “Mateys, witness the fate of any scallywag that crosses me!” Captain Errol Pepper said grinning with his three good teeth as former First Mate Blake Edwards was unceremoniously thrown onto the sandy atoll. “You’ll die here you arrogant bilge rat, and your death won’t be easy as your skin fries in the sun, your body shrivels when you finally force yourself to drink the saltwater and then the gulls and pelicans pluck your bones clean while you squirm.”

    Blake waved as the Lady’s Revenge hauled wind outward to the trades under full sail. “And to think all I asked for was a chance to steer,” Blake snickered as he opened the transmitter to the orbiting
    Uralian scout vessel.

    Minutes later the robotic ship blasted off from the atoll with Blake aboard, seated at a console and typing away.

    Planet Nexius 7 Prime, no intelligent life, clear for demolition.

    Blake smiled as he hit send, “now that is keel hauling.”


  54. “The Sailor Formally Known as Jones”

    “He sat there still, the cowed Grand Admiral of Her serene Majesty’s Thousand Fleets. All glory’s height once was he in prim and gilded panoply; but lo this grizzled, sandy figure reclining on the strand.”

    “Mester Jawns, shu’ yer wee trap,” the coxswain brogued over the pounding surf. “Ye ha’ nae the talen’ ‘a be un bard. Juss’ bloody row!”

    The coxswain’s final vowel endured the entirety of Jones’ threshing stroke. The sky threatened tempest and already the southern sea’s aquamarines had begun their furious assault upon the beach. Men heaved at oar and tiller, struggling to keep the small craft aimed at sand.

    Undeterred by the burly Scotsman at the helm, the Sailor Formally Known as ‘Jones’ began anew, “And ‘tis a grand irony, that this lord of tyranny, who so haughtily assailed, a foe that them availed of the leeward isle should now preside over so lovely a beach, dreaming upon a pillow winds.”

    WC = 156 words


  55. Alone
    157 words

    Nox had never felt as alone as he felt at that moment. Staring out across the endless gray sand that stretched from horizon to horizon he realized just how lost he’d become.

    When he’d started this grand adventure, his life had been full of promise. Sir David Naughtington, second son of Baron Naughtington a man of promise turned complete failure. He’d squandered his life in the arrogant belief that his father, or his father’s money could save him from anything, but now it was too late. No money in the world could save him from the isolation he now faced. There was nothing his blood… his history could do for him. It had brought him here, but it could bear him no further.

    “Able was I, ere I saw Elba…” he sighed.

    “Nox,” a harsh whisper broke his concentration. “Are you going to stare at that painting all night or just take it… the guard is coming.


  56. Elisa @AverageAdvocate
    Word Count: 157
    (Sorry if I double posted, I didn’t see the other in the comments)
    Title: Fool-Stuck

    The brilliant sky set gold, a fitting backdrop for the swarming fireboon swallows sent by her magic to torment and nourish me.

    They made me long for her silvery touch, until I remembered what I was doomed to never forget.

    I was a sucker, like the rest of them. “Yes,” I said. “Please let me try,” I begged. Then, “I am strong enough,” I had insisted. And so I was wasted, send, and left.

    To be worthy to stand beside her, I must crack through the Sorcerer’s spell. So, daily I toil to break free. Like the others beside me, I push and fling myself against it, the barrier.

    At the day’s end on our respective sandy beaches, we, still like fools, hope. We aren’t watching, for she will not come. We were snagged in her siren’s snare and know we live eternally in these crafted bubbles.

    But we still wait for nothing under the golden sky.


  57. Tricksy Pete’s Last Laugh

    Being marooned was the worst thing that had ever happened to Tricksy Pete. Worse than being run through by Bloody Ned’s rusty cutlass. Worse than finding spots on his pizzle after that night with Buxom Bess at Port Royal. Worse even than finding two drowned rats in the last keg of rum on the Banshee.
    He’d have rather walked the plank. The jaws of a shark full of quick white teeth provided an honorable death. But being cast on the sandy waste of a nameless island? Waiting to rot in the hot sun, with a single shot in your pistol ?
    Suicide’s went to hell, his Da said. It was bad enough to die without the last rites. He’d be damned if he’d go to Hell.
    If only he hadn’t jested that one-eyed, one- toothed, one-legged, one-armed Captain Jenks might consider retirement before he lost something he’d miss.. .
    At least, thought Pete, he hadn’t told them about the rats.


  58. Hi! I tried to post this two times last night and I still don’t see it. So, if you didn’t get it before, and don’t count me in this time, I totally understand. But, I for myself I just want to make sure I got it in here, so I am using a different account of mine to post. Try number 3!

    August 22nd 2014
    Word Count: 157
    Elisa @AverageAdvocate

    The brilliant sky set gold, a fitting backdrop for the swarming fireboon swallows sent by her magic to torment and nourish me.

    They made me long for her silvery touch, until I remembered what I was doomed to never forget.

    I was a sucker, like the rest of them. “Yes,” I said. “Please let me try,” I begged. Then, “I am strong enough,” I had insisted. And so I was wasted, send, and left.

    To be worthy to stand beside her, I must crack through the Sorcerer’s spell. So, daily I toil to break free. Like the others beside me, I push and fling myself against it, the barrier.

    At the day’s end on our respective sandy beaches, we, still like fools, hope. We aren’t watching, for she will not come. We were snagged in her siren’s snare and know we live eternally in these crafted bubbles.

    But we still wait for nothing under the saffron sky.


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