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My latest in the Flash! Friday flash fiction contest. Provide 210 words max in response to the “man vs. nature” prompt and the above photo provided by Jbdodane. My entry:

The metal blade of the shovel tasted rustic on my tongue, as dirt spilled over onto my gums. With the next heave, Drake got even closer to my tongue and sliced it.

At least, before he stomped on my ear, I heard his partner call him Drake. Maybe it was Blake. Or Rick. Hard to say when dirt had congealed with earwax.

Dirt sat heavy on my chest, pooled in my lap. Dirt when fragmented appeared weightless, but packed together, it felt like a tombstone atop my heaving diaphragm.

More dirt crawled down the walls of my throat. I tried to cough, but then Drake used his steel-toe boot to cave in my nose.

Then Drake’s visage was gone, as dirt fell across my eyes, scratching my retinas, making me blink in vain.

Dad’s meticulous hands came to my mind. In his sawdust-caked workshop, he crafted an elegant ship in a bottle. He had worked on it since before my birth.

When he was done, once it sat atop the mantle proud and boastful, I smashed it. I wanted the ship to sail. That’s what ships are made to do.

As for humans, we’re made to breathe. Dirt thought differently, however.

That’s why we all rested with it in time.

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