Flash! Friday–Vol 2 – 43

Happy October! Such a pleasure seeing you back here again. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedules to spend a few minutes with the FF community. Your stories stir the blood, and your support of each other warms the heart. What else is there to say, except WELCOME TO AWESOMENESS!!!!

Speaking of inspiration, our innocent (looking) little photo today was taken off the coast of Dubrovnik. On this day in 1929, the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes was renamed the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. If you’re not familiar with the history of this region and Yugoslavia in particular, I challenge you to take a closer look. The dynasty got its start in the early 1800s, then its rulers were exiled abroad for many years (and then voted back in), until the last king (Peter II) was eventually forced into permanent exile as the kingdom itself crumbled. Even today, Crown Prince Alexander, the last official heir of Yugoslavia, waits in Belgrade, ready to rule should his lost kingdom ever draw breath again. If that doesn’t get a Muse nattering in your ear, I don’t know what will!  

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Thanks to a behind-the-scenes switcharoo (to use the technical literary term), up as judge today is Margaret Locke. Being a Queen herself, she laughs at anyone’s attempts to seize her throne (though she still dares them to try). She advises you instead to focus your efforts on writing stories that make her feel, ones with rich language and cleverly imagined conceits. Read more about what she likes in a story here.   

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Awards Ceremony: Results will post Monday. Noteworthy #SixtySeconds interviews with the previous week’s winner post Wednesdays.  I (Rebekah) post my own unbalanced writings sometimes on Tuesdays or Thursdays.   

Now, start your political machinations and 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 Monday

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 “Karađorđević”):

Politician***Today’s Prompt:

Local fisherman, Yugoslavia. CC photo by GothPhil.

Local fisherman, Yugoslavia. CC photo by GothPhil.

847 thoughts on “Flash! Friday–Vol 2 – 43

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

    Don’t rock the boat

    The waves lapped gently against the hull of the fishing boat as the two men lazily wiled away their Sunday afternoon. The sun was warm and the beer was cold. All was going swimmingly, until Phil went and ruined it. He turned to Bob and said, “Is my wife getting fat?”

    Bob found himself mentally picturing Phil’s wife. He had to use a lot of his imagination to squeeze all of her in. There was an awkward pause while he crafted a suitable response, “Your wife isn’t getting fat, she’s simply having a horizontal growth spurt.”
    Phil mulled that over, “Oh ok. Does that mean she’s fat though?”
    “Fat is relative. Fat compared to what? Compared to a grizzly bear your wife’s skinny as a rake.”
    “That still sounds pretty fat.”
    “Trust me, no-one would ever call your wife fat.”
    “They wouldn’t?”
    Bob gave up, “Hell no, they’d be way too scared of her to say anything!”

    158 words
    @todayschapter

    Like

  2. Bated Breath (160 words)
    @brett_milam

    For a moment, as the water beguiled me with its gentle lapping against the side of our small boat, I’d forgotten that the Congressman’s body was cut into 13 chunks and stacked in our bait cooler.

    Lennie was already in the deep end of the whiskey bottle, as he fiddled with the netting.

    “It starts today, here, with us, Bruce,” Lennie said, his words slurring out like he had a mangled starfish in his mouth.

    Then, Lennie unzipped.

    “Season ya up for the fishies, but they probably don’t even want your filth,” Lennie said, as his piss drizzled on the grey hair chunk of the Congressman.

    His style was a bit much for me alright, but I couldn’t shake the adrenaline when we netted the Congressman right outside his home.

    Felt like something mattered again. Felt like I mattered.

    I took a swig on the whiskey before it was all gone and listened to the gentle lapping, tapping.

    Like

  3. This Is What You Want, This Is What You Get

    The rifle cracked twice, the sound dopplering across the bay. The PM jerked instinctively, thinking that they were under attack again, then relaxed when an aide pointed him towards the empty fishing boat drifting in a spreading scarlet slick.

    “Illegals?”

    “Can’t be too careful sir.”

    The PM waved to the guard turrets ringing the compound.

    “Good show chaps!”

    The aide sighed.

    “They’re automated sir, remember? Too many undesirables in the squad, you said.”

    He gestured towards a cluster of wooden crucifixes on the beach, where the seagulls perched and pecked at what remained. The PM chuckled.

    His phone bleated out Land Of Hope And Glory and he checked the screen, then slipped it away, fishing for his cigarettes instead.

    “Looks like the natives are getting restless again. Birmingham’s burnt to the ground.”

    He thought of the benefits bill for the city, erased in one night, and barked out a laugh.

    “And they said I had no economic policy.”

    158 words
    @Karl_A_Russell

    Like

  4. All Politics Is Local (159 Words)

    “Politics ain’t personal,” Jimmy K said and lit a cigar. The sea breeze ruffled his silver hair, and dawn light gave his face a rosy glow. “All politics is local though. You know who said that?”

    He glared at the Congressman sitting across from him.

    “You don’t remember, do you? It was Tip O’Neill. Speaker of the House. A great man. Don’t know your history, huh? Guess that’s why you been such a disappointment.”

    Jimmy K shook his head and puffed on his cigar, his great jowls billowing in and out like bellows. “It’s a sad thing when you forget your friends. When you forget where you come from.”

    A man appeared from inside the cabin. He finished wrapping chains around the Congressman’s body.

    “The Congressman don’t have much to say this morning, Jimmy.”

    “It don’t matter. He’s on permanent vacation.”

    Gulls swooped low when the Congressman’s body hit the water.

    Jimmy K said, “Throw them birds some food.”

    Like

  5. The Morning’s Haul
    152 words
    @scturnbull

    The two men set out in darkness, but by the middle of the lake the sun was risen. The air was still and already warm. Taking the fishing net, they fed it over the side, allowing the slight current to spread it out.
    “So, lets eat,” the older man said.
    He opened a hamper and handed over sausage and bread. From a bottle of slivovitz he poured them a glass each.
    “Zivio ziveli,” he toasted.
    “To life,” the younger man responded, “though not the Bosniaks, neh?”
    “Ack, Ratko, no. What are we going to do. We need to break their spirit.”
    “Simple, Radovan. Deprive them of their fighters. Current or potential.”
    Ratko held his glass forward, Radovan refilled it.
    “How?”
    Ratko shrugged his shoulders. “Easiest way in wartime, we kill them.”
    Silence hung on the water, like breath held in expectation.
    Radovan nodded. “Do it.”
    A gust of wind rocked the boat.

    Like

  6. Double Cross

    Andrej gazed at the walls of old Dubrovnik while Josip threw the nets.

    ‘God’s blessing,’ Josip muttered. Andrej crossed himself quickly and drove the boat on.

    A sudden boom made them look toward the city. Clouds of yellowish dust rose from the walls.

    ‘Starting early,’ Josip murmured.

    ‘Vuković’s ‘modernisation’ won’t wait.’

    ‘Walls that stood against all comers, brought down by one of our own.’

    ‘One of our own? No Croatian would do this.’ Andrej’s pulse raced.

    ‘But he has the Crown Prince’s command.’

    ‘Forged. Forced, maybe.’ Andrej spat.

    ‘You opposed the Cathedral’s razing,’ said Josip. ‘Didn’t you?’

    ‘As did every loyal Croatian,’ Andrej replied, too quickly. He turned to meet Josip’s calm gaze, and knew.

    Josip’s hand rested lightly on his gun.

    ‘But – you prayed. You spoke the old faith!’

    ‘Just words, comrade.’

    The hammer landed with an empty click.

    Andrej smiled. ‘If you’re going to play the game,’ he whispered, drawing his knife, ‘make sure you know the rules.’

    @SJOHart
    160 words
    http://sjohart.wordpress.com

    Like

  7. Undercurrent (159 words)
    @bex_spence

    Eric scanned the scene, sun light shimmered on the water, and the sea glistened with an enchanting blue green. Within the boat his son and daughter, all he had in this world.

    Official government order for the safety of the town, one of them had to go. A sacrifice made to protect them from the creatures of the sea. From those that lay beneath.

    His son, nearly a man himself spoke up, ‘Father, do not fear. I will go; Emiline is still just a girl’

    A tear ran down Eric’s weathered face, his hand lay on his son, ‘You are a good son, Thomas, a good brother’

    The boat rocked, waves moved ferociously, the beast was drawing in.

    Emiline stood, ‘No Thomas, not you’ rushing past the men she launched off the boat into the ocean, disappearing into the unknown.

    Wild thrashing then stark calm, it had embraced her, she was gone.

    Man and boy sat and wept.

    Like

  8. Divine Rights
    @geofflepard 157 words

    ‘What is it? The crown?’
    ‘Too heavy your majesty.’
    ‘The orb? The sceptre?’
    The prime minister peered into the water. ‘It’s moving, whatever it is.’
    The old men pulled at the rope. ‘It’s wriggling.’ ‘It’s wrapped in something.’ ‘Looks like carpet.’
    The PM looked at his Sovereign-in-waiting. ‘The prophecy? Can it be?’
    Roger, last King of the Balkans, smoothed his moustache. ‘It worked for Caesar.’
    ‘You think that’s Cleopatra?’
    ‘Hardly. She’d be 2000 years old. Get it in the boat.’
    Carefully they untied the rope and stood back. For a moment nothing then a slip and a slop and a mermaid lay gasping on the floor. She glowered at Roger. ‘And you are?’
    ‘Roger, king of the Balkans, here to claim my right.’
    ‘In a fishing boat?’
    ‘We’re looking for the crown.’
    ‘This?’ She held up a simple gold band.
    Roger shrugged. ‘Nope but it’ll do. Ta.’
    The mermaid heaved herself over the side. ‘Bloody royalty.’

    Like

  9. 160 words, @turnerpen2paper

    My Dad is a fisherman, and his Dad was a drunk. His Dad was a merchant in the port of Gruz, and his Dad was the Governor of the whole of Mostar District, which tells you something about the changing tides across the generations, I suppose.

    It was many years since I’d been on his boat, and the weather was kind. Crinkled waves caught the sun right across the bay. Tata had the rudder and I pulled in the nets, shuffling twine through city-softened hands, saddened by the lowly catch. He’d asked me there, one year from my mother’s passing.

    As the light faded, the boat floor was slick with scales. He cut the engine just as we rounded the headland, beside the cave which spits foam through its roof, a windswept spot that she loved. Tata spilt the ashes into the molten evening water and then we sat awhile, girice churning in the buckets, before turning sadly for home.

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  10. The Expedition
    (159 words)

    They rocked and rolled to the rhythm of the boat, under a pea-green sky:

    ‘Now, let’s not be politicians about this, one of us is gonna die.’
    ‘That’s true, my friend, there’s no other way: one dead so the other can survive.’
    ‘We’ve used up everything we had so, I guess, the time has come to decide.’

    ‘Fatter!’
    ‘Older!’
    ‘Taller!’
    ‘That matters?!!’

    ‘Well, let’s draw straws, instead-
    the one with the shortest straw, is the one that ends up dead.’

    They drew black straws- all the time looking each other in the eye.
    It was The Cat , in the end, that came up short, but he thought he could still be sly.
    He pounced at The Bird with flailing claws, but The Bird was truly wise:
    The Bird side-stepped, so The Cat hit his head.
    And that’s how he came to be dead!

    Napkin,
    spoon,
    knife,
    fork.
    The Bird gorged herself in the growing dark.

    Like

  11. Fishing for Lost Time
    By: Allison K. Garcia
    160 words

    “Now, watch how I cast the line, Bryan.” The thin, plastic line whizzed through the pre-dawn air and plunked down in the sea. In the dim moonlight, a red bobber moved with the soft current. “You’ll know you’ve got something when you feel a little tug.”

    Water lapped the boat. The occasional splash in the distance of marine life jumping. A seagull calling its mate. Life. Inside the boat, silence weighed heavier than any anchor.

    He glanced over at the unused fishing rod. “I was never the best father.” He played with the reel. “I worked too hard on the campaign trail, missing your games, your parties, your homework. I realize now; all the money in the world could never amount to one second of time spent with you.”

    In the darkness, he felt the gentle pressure of a small hand in his. Heart aching, he stared into his empty palm, knowing he had one last moment with his son.

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  12. Tamara Shoemaker
    @TamaraShoemaker
    Word Count: 159

    Empty Promises

    He’d promised to take her fishing, a real-life rendezvous in a world where she saw him mostly on the news. She’d looked forward to it for days, and then weeks, then months, until she realized she would never feel the gentle rocking of the boat, the sun cutting through the mist into the gray waters. Not with him. Never with him.

    He’d promised to take her to the carnival, to slide through crowds of fun-worshipers, a melting ice-cream cone in one hand and a stuffed Elmo in the other—the prize of some try-yer-luck booth.

    He’d promised her a thousand things—slices of time he’d carve out between his harried days in the senate chambers. But his words lost their shine after a time. They rusted into a dull bronze, then the brown of dirt. Worthless. Trampled.

    The day he won his reelection, he called her. I’ll take you to Europe.

    She hung up on him, weary, scourged with empty promises.

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  13. Tamara Shoemaker
    @TamaraShoemaker
    Word Count: 157

    Baited

    Fred liked mackerel. Fred liked salmon. Fred liked perch, but none of the three swam in the bay the morning of the election.

    The only thing that ended up on his hook when he reeled it in—time after time—was a trailing clump of sodden seaweed

    “Funny, that,” he said, casting his line one more time into the water, shaking his head in my direction as he settled back into his chair. “You spend hours, days, heck, years even, perfecting your technique. The perfect cast. The strategic bait. Time of day. Is it too hot? Too cold? You wait, hoping for a bite, hoping the fish will swarm to your hook, interested in the scintillating slice of delight you put before them. Some bite; the rest go their merry way, heedless of the promises offered, perhaps even aware of the snare they so narrowly escaped.”

    I grunted. “Yeah. Funny. You sure you’re talking about fish?”

    Like

  14. Be Careful What You Kiss For

    The smack drifted on a disinterested sea. Two men, hair bleached by the sun and skin reddened by the wind, waited to haul in their catch.

    “Who’d you vote for?” Tar asked.

    “Didn’t.” Jack said.

    “What? People died for that. My dad for one, and your uncle Middy for another.”

    “What’s the difference? One baby-kisser or the next?”

    Tar shook his head. Another boat was coming towards them. Maybe Matelot from the next village.

    “I voted for the other lot.”

    “There’s my point. For all the good it did, you might as well have kissed this fish. Me and you’ve fished these waters all our lives and we’ll fish ‘em till we can fish n’more. I’ll leave the vote-casting to them who knows. It’s net-casting’s in my blood.”

    The other boat came alongside. Not Matelot after all.

    “Gentlemen, the new party has declared these waters Icelandic. You can no longer fish here.”

    “Pucker up,” Tar said, handing Jack a fish.

    160 words
    @MicroBookends

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  15. The Old Man on the Sea
    160 words
    @UK_MJ
    ——————————-

    “You’re doing it wrong.”

    The cantankerous old voice was overly loud in the pre-dawn stillness.

    Teeth grinding, Lyle hauled on the net and ignored his father’s unceasing litany of complaints.

    It was too cold.
    The boat was too small.
    The water was too smooth.
    Etc. Etc. Etc.

    “Pull it up from the side or that net’ll get snagged. How you gonna catch anything in a net with a hole?”

    Yes, sir, Mr. President. Anything you say, Mr. President.

    “I thought I taught you -”

    “DAD!” Lyle tossed a frustrated look over his shoulder. “I brought you out here to have a good time! Will you please just shut up and have a good time?!?”

    The old man looked at him like he’d grown a second head.

    “I am having a good time. I’m out here with my boy, ain’t I?”

    Teeth grinding again, Lyle turned back to the net.

    “Guess it don’t matter what you catch. You can’t cook anyway.”

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  16. The Politics of Fishing

    ‘But that would be very patronising, sir’, the MP’s assistant protested.

    ‘Would it?’

    ‘Why, yes. Nowadays people want to be responsible for their own fate, be independent.’

    ‘Really?’

    The assistant clamped the bridge of his nose with his index finger and his thumb and started massaging, eyes closed. He was grateful he worked for a reputed politician, but some days, some days nothing would please him more than to strangle that man with his bare hands. If that was even possible. The slippery bugger.

    ‘Let me tell you something,’ the MP said. ‘And I’ll get straight to the point, because I know how you hate it when I do my politician thing.’

    The assistant swallowed.

    ‘After all these decades I have only learned one thing. Don’t teach people how to fish. Give them fish.’

    The assistant frowned deeply, while the MP seemed to look straight through him.

    147 words
    @bartvangoethem
    #FlashDog

    Like

  17. Fisher of Men
    159 words
    @HomeWithCarol

    “Where are you going?” she asked.
    “Here,” he replied, placing a photograph in her hands.
    “Fishing? You’re going fishing?”
    “No, Mama. I’m going to be a fisher of men, just like you’ve prayed all my life. Remember? We talked about this already.”
    “Oh.”
    Silence. God, how he hated this place.
    “I’ve got to go now, Mama. I love you.”
    “Oh? Where are you going?” she asked again.
    He felt like a politician, repeating himself over and over.
    “Look at the picture, Mama. Keep the picture, Mama. Then, whenever you miss me, remember that I’m a fisher of men and pray for me.”
    Silence.
    “I love you, Mama.”
    “I love you, too, son.”
    When he stepped through the automatic doors of the nursing home, the airport transport van waited for him. He handed the driver his bag and climbed into the front seat.
    Once on the freeway, the driver asked, “Where are you going?”
    “Fishing,” he said. “I’m going fishing.”

    Like

  18. La Mer
    @Making_Fiction #FlashDog
    158 words

    Under the sea, the microbes feed on the waste; animal remains and organic decay. For they are the forgotten victims of the wars.

    Under the sea, the crustaceans look above them, hunted, yet always looking downwards to the food. They hover, hunting, above the sludge.

    Under the sea, the plankton goes unnoticed, yet it fill oceans as big as continents and sustains creatures the size of houses. Given the right conditions, plankton glows, pulses and shines.

    Under the sea, the sharks go where they please. Their predatory eyes always scanning. They are the politicians of the war-ravaged region that feast on lobster, oysters and caviar.

    On the sea, a boat. It bobs in the undulating waves; it’s at the mercy of the perpetually changing tides.

    Above the sea, the exiled king sits. He casts his net but dredges up nothing but murky water. One day the net will close and he’ll catch the sea, and everything in it.

    Like

    • Thanks Tamara, you’re the undisputed queen of feedback and generosity. Well spotted, for some biizarre reason I had music in my head the minute I saw the picture. It was La Mer / Beyond the Sea but then it sort of morphed a bit (but without me even realizing it) 🙂

      Like

  19. Family Business

    My hands are chapped and red from the cold. I turn my equally wind stung face back toward the wind, repelled and satisfied at the same time. The salty air speaks of my ancestors as it robs me of my beauty.
    My father stops the boat and we gather our nets in silence, the wind orchestrates our work.
    I brave words that will sting more than the cold air.
    “I’ve heard talk in town that Andrej will be raising taxes again for the fishermen.”
    It aches and relieves to say his name out loud.
    My father spits into the sea, his only statement.
    My father is ashamed to bring his daughter in his boat, to displace her from her post in society. But he is more ashamed to have borne a son whose quicksilver words and heartless ambitions keep our people poor.
    My father’s hands are soon bloody and yet I know he considers his work cleaner than his son’s.

    160 words
    @CaseyCaseRose

    Like

  20. Ten Minutes
    158 words
    By Laura Carroll Butler

    “Okay, there’s these two politicians fishing in a lake…”
    Guy #1. This night is not starting out well. I laugh anyway.
    Thank God, a break! I touch up my lipstick in the ladies room and prepare for another hour.
    Guy #6. “…and they replaced Starbuck with a woman.”
    Starbuck? Isn’t that a candy? No, Starbursts. Mmm, those would be good right now. Or some dark chocolate to go with this weak wine. Where is that waiter? I need a refill.
    Guy #10. Well, he looks promising and he’s the last one. I think the 7-11 carries those dark chocolate Acai berries. Maybe the tenth time is the charm.
    ********************************
    Chick #10. She looks as bored as the last nine. I need to switch it up or this night is a bust. A joke…that guy in the men’s room told a joke at the break. Let’s see….
    “So there are these two politicians and they’re fishing on this lake…

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  21. Making Waves
    By Gavin Parish (@GavinParish)
    160 words

    A political commentator had once called him ‘deep, like the sea’. He remained calm whatever challenges came his way. People only ever saw what was reflected on the surface, and they took it for transparency. Here was a man they could trust.

    Yet if they had been somehow granted access to the hidden depths, they might have recoiled from what they found there. Secrets in the dark – unnatural, unimaginable, twisted and abhorrent in nature – buried in the embracing sands of the ocean floor.

    Nobody was to know there was a tsunami coming. On a still day before the storm, the fishermen found the long-dead corpse floated to the surface, freed from its anchoring chains. There was a formal investigation. Forensics software revealed a face known to all.

    The imposter knew he had been doing a far better job, but it counted for nothing now. He retained his outward calm to the end, as he typed in the nuclear codes.

    Like

  22. The Heir and the Spare
    @stellakateT
    159 words

    The only two men on earth and they’ve both gone fishing in the same boat! Have they not heard of that rule, the heir and the spare never travel together? Not sure why they were chosen as the last two men. One is the Prime Minister and the other is my husband. In reality the only man to propagate the human race will be the PM unless someone knows how to surgically operate on my man.

    Some strong woman will have to hold him down he’s not keen on Doctors at the best of times. Not that I’m bothered it’s been years since my womb shrivelled up. Not sure why I was chosen to be one of the survivors God must have a sense of humour!

    Wonder how long they will be gone?
    It’s getting dark and I can hear animals circling the house.
    Thank God he chose these women to find me, they can multi-task. I’ll be safe

    Like

  23. Survival Of The Best
    @_HannahHeath
    160 words

    Trítous stared at the other two men in the boat. “No! This is wrong. I will not kill to become president!”

    Gáidaro smirked. “It is the will of the people. The best will survive tonight’s trial and be elected.”

    Eléfantas clenched his fists, eyeing Trítous, the smallest of them all.

    Trítous shook his head fiercely. “It is wrong!” He threw himself overboard.

    Trítous’ splash sprinkled silver water against the darkness. Gáidaro turned to face Eléfantas.

    Eléfantas pitched forward, sending the boat lurching and forcing his opponent off balance. Pulling a gun, he carefully aimed and fired. Gáidaro fell backwards. Red tendrils licked the surface of the black water.

    Throwing the gun away, Eléfantas rowed quickly to shore. Jumping from the boat, he waved at the crowd. “The best has survived!”

    It was then that he caught sight of Trítous, dripping wet and smiling. He felt somebody grab him roughly. Handcuffs clicked.

    The people cheered. “Trítous! Trítous!”

    The best had survived.

    Like

  24. GONE FISHING
    @hollygeely
    158 words

    “Where’s Jenny?”

    Bill showing up at my door didn’t surprise me, but I wasn’t glad to see him. Jenny had asked to stay with me for a while, since Bill had been “different” since he got elected.

    “Hey, idiot. I asked you a question.”

    Bill never liked me. I can’t say that I care.

    “Jenny went fishing,” I said. I pictured her casting a net out of the little boat. She seemed lonely so I put myself beside her. I reached for her hand and kissed it. She looked into my eyes and said…

    “Why the hell would she go fishing?”

    I hate Bill. He ruins all of my fantasies.

    “I’ll tell her you stopped by,” I said, and I closed the door in his face. I went back to the little fishing boat in my mind so Jenny could finish her sentence.

    “I love you, Sarah,” she said, and for a minute I believed it was true.

    Like

  25. Van Demal
    An equitable tender
    160 words

    The sun mints coins on the water. It mesmerises, steals my equilibrium.
    This has been our living for generations. This is currency, my father would say, a net full of quicksilver in the boat. This is food on the table. You can’t eat those dreams in your head. You can’t spend those numbers in your laptop. You can’t make money out of nothing.

    He was right – not about making money out of nothing, about me not being able to. You need power for that. Political power, business might. Now I can’t even pay my electricity bill.

    If only it were currency. I’d need a hundred nets to get clear, a thousand. Who can afford fish now? Who except the politicians – but where are they? Behind their big walls in their big houses, waiting; the fishers of men.
    It looks inviting, that glinting realm, an equitable tender. I could just step out, over the edge, into something new. Just one step…

    Like

  26. LIKE FATHER, LIKE DAUGHTER

    @hollygeely
    160 words

    Robert’s ex-wife the super-important mayor dropped the kids off Friday without any warning. He took them to the lake and they got high on all the fresh air and had a hard time listening to him.

    “What did I tell you? You never go fishing without me, especially at night!” Robert said.

    “But I caught one,” Blythe said, holding up the net.

    “She was amazing!” Brayden said. “He told her to throw him back in but she got him.”

    “Fish don’t talk, Brayden.”

    “This one did,” Blythe said. “He said he’d give us three wishes, so I told him I wished for three dinners and hit him on the head with a rock.”

    She put the fish on the table. It was a big one, and though he was still angry, Robert was impressed.

    “You still have two wishes, if you want,” the fish said in a weak voice.

    Robert screamed and hit it on the head with a rock.

    Like

  27. Hunt(er)

    He was out alone to have the time to think.
    (The time to drink)
    He liked the heft of the gun in his hand.
    He raised the double barrel and shot a duck.
    (Shot a man, a man)
    He heard the squawk
    (No, the cry)
    And the splash of his prize.
    (The sound of his crime)
    “I shot and killed a duck!” He cries out into the empty room.
    (A man, a man, a man, a man, a man!)

    His fixers, spokespeople, and aides have woven such tidy webs of lies that they have cocooned even his mind.
    They conspire for him; his mind against him.
    But echoes
    (Guilt)
    tear through the sticky threads from time to time.
    Another hunter shot a man in a boat by mistake. All the newspapers said so.
    The congressman shot a duck.
    (A man.)

    140 words
    @CaseyCaseRose

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  28. Fishing for Votes (156 words)
    Jay Dee Archer
    @jaydeejapan

    The motorboat parted the coastal waters of the northern Pacific Ocean. Two fishing rods bobbed with the motion of the waves.

    “Tell you what, Carl,” said the thin man. “If you catch something impressive, I’ll back you.”

    Carl smiled and leaned back in his seat. “You know I’ll win, Jeff.”

    “We’ll see. You’re an amateur at this.”

    “I may just have raw talent,” he said as he noticed his rod bending down and the left. “This amateur’s got something.”

    “Beginner’s luck.”

    Carl snatched his fishing rod and reeled in the fish. He pulled up and grunted. “It’s a big one.”

    “Probably seaweed,” Jeff said, laughing.

    Carl fought the fish, but slowly, the fishing line came up from the depths. The fish slapped its tail on the surface and Carl pulled it in.

    “Damn, it’s a king salmon. I guess I’ll have to back your nomination for party leadership.”

    Carl grinned. “Too bad I can’t be king.”

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  29. Making Mother Proud
    @_HannahHeath
    160 words

    Mother taught me never to use foul language. But when Bill came home that night, it was all I could do to keep from cursing at him.

    He promised he would remember. Promised it would be the best anniversary we’d ever celebrated.

    And then he didn’t come home after work until past midnight. He smelled like fish.

    “Bill,” I said, “Didn’t you forget something?”

    Bill’s eyes grew as round as the fish I knew he had left in the car and his face became as white as their bellies. “Oh, honey, I didn’t forget! I promise! I just had to stay late at work. Deadline. You understand.”

    “You didn’t go fishing tonight, did you darling?” I knew the answer, but I wanted to see what he would say.

    “Of course I didn’t, dear,” he lied. “Gee, you look beautiful.”

    I was furious. So I said the first thing that came to my mind. “Why you…you…POLITICIAN!”

    Mother would have been proud.

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  30. Title: Treaty of Vis
    Words: 157
    @RTayaket
    rashatayaket.wordpress.com

    “It’s a merger.” I said, struggling to row the boat. I had never had a political meeting in a boat.

    “You mean a takeover?” He defended, casting the net into the water. I was roasting in my suit out on the water.

    “An alliance. Align with us to fight the Axis occupation of Yugoslavia.” I said impatiently. It’s a war, not a tea party.

    “I have one question.” He said. I struggled with the paddles.

    “You expect our aid. Where were you when we called for your help?”

    I stopped rowing. The man in the boat had entered my chambers in London ten year ago. Rumor had it he had been killed in Marseille; but former king Alexander was here in the flesh. He had not been assassinated, but was hiding in plain sight in his own kingdom.

    “I will sign your treaty. But rest assured, Mr. Churchill, you will be dead before this war is over.”

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  31. Disposal Team

    The two fishermen left port early in the morning, anxious to find the school that’d been lingering in the vicinity. They were poor men, able to afford only a decrepit wooden boat and an old-fashioned, hand-knotted net, which was why they’d created their unique sideline. They used the tide and their oars to get into position, saving their precious and hideously expensive diesel fuel for the return trip.
    “There they are!” Jorge shouted eagerly, pointing to the sharp fins slicing through the ocean after the silvery mackerel. He began scooping the bloody gobbets of flesh into the water. The sharks swirled closer, jaws agape. They began to gulp down the fishermen’s “special” chum, then something unprecedented occurred. The sharks turned and swam away at top speed.

    “See, I told you so!” Marcus crowed gleefully. “That dirty scoundrel was so rotten that even the sharks turned up their noses at him!”

    The radio crackled, “Breaking news, Mayor Zupan has disappeared.”

    159 Words
    Challenge Accepted: Politician=Mayor
    karnemily@yahoo.com

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  32. Headlines
    @stellakateT
    159 words

    Wonder what will happen if I push him overboard?
    Headline in the Daily Mail ‘Prime Minister drowned. State funeral next week
    Who’s idea was this to get us talking?I hate fishing nearly as much as I loathe him. Knowing my luck I’ll push him overboard and then I’d have to attempt to save him and drown in this murky lake.
    Headline in the Daily Mail ‘Heroic Deputy saves the Prime Minister… by election announced.
    For God’s sake will he not sit down? What! hell no! He’s just caught a huge Chub.
    Headline in the Daily Mail ‘Champion fish caught by Prime Minister whilst he talks’.
    Does he really expect me to help him remove that hook from the end of his finger?
    Headline in the Daily Mail ‘Prime Minister survives terrorist attempt with poisoned fish hook’
    “Well PM how’s it going?” “Looks like I’m in for another five years”
    Headline in Daily Mail ‘Deputy PM charged with aggravated assault’

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  33. THE FISH WERE BITING GOOD THAT DAY
    @voimaoy #flashdog
    160 words

    The fish were biting good that day when it fell out of the sky. It fell like a raindrop into the reservoir by the power plant. The only witnesses were two fishermen, the Mayor and the Sheriff of the little town, out early to watch the sun rise. It fell without a splash.

    The two friends managed to retrieve it. At first, they thought it was a meteorite, but it was too smooth and silvery. It was bigger than a football but about that shape. It was bigger than any fish they had ever caught before.

    “Let’s get pictures!” Joe, the Sheriff got out his phone.

    Bob, the Mayor, could use the publicity. It was an election year. “How’s this?” He stood next to the thing, smiling proudly, as if it were a trophy fish.

    He was smiling as a line appeared in the side of the thing. The line grew longer and wider, and a tentacle reached out.

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  34. Missing
    @EmilyJuneStreet
    156 words

    Dejan scanned the horizon. Nothing but a fishing dinghy carrying two men. No space to conceal a stowaway. The girl had evaporated like mist on a mirror.

    Franjo paced the deck. “You should have caught her on the docks.”

    Dejan scowled. Years he’d served as a Cabinet minister, and still they treated him like a thug for hire. “The harbor log?”

    “No departures.” Franjo gestured at the distant dinghy. “She’d never use one of those.”

    Heir to a defunct throne, Princess Karađorđević usually breathed the rarified air in Belgrade penthouses, more media darling than political threat. But somehow the revolutionaries had seduced her.

    “All they needed was a figurehead,” Dejan muttered.

    “Maybe she swam.” Franjo glared at the glittering sea.

    “Maybe some goddamned sharks ate her.” Dejan swung his binoculars up one last time.

    He froze. A fisherman in the dingy turned, flicking a pale braid over a shoulder. No man had such a pronounced waist.

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  35. @avalina_kreska
    The Gods help those who help themselves
    160 words

    ‘The road goes ever on and on…’
    ‘It’s not the bloody Lord of the Rings you know,’ Goran shouted, miserable from drinking too much Rakia the night before.
    Bojan immediately quietened down, Goran (the Mayor) was known to throw people from the boat for the smallest thing.
    As the net sailed into the water, Bojan wondered why he agreed to pander to Goran’s whims. They sat back for an hour. Goran played his bisernica and hummed.

    Bojan, retrieving the full nets, spotted something shiny, he watched it roll down into the corner of the boat.
    ‘Anything that falls into my boat is mine. Give it to me,’ said the quick eyed Goran.
    Bojan picked up the shiny gutting knife and plunged it into Goran’s heart. Goran gasped.
    Bojan picked up the other shiny thing.
    ‘The road goes ever on and on…’
    Bojan reeled from the shiny bullet, the shiny thing falling into the sea.

    The Gods rolled the dice. Heads.

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