Flash! Friday for Dec. 4: Long Neck

If you’re not familiar with what Flash! Friday is, here’s the explainer. But in short, it’s a fun weekly contest of flash fiction writers, where each week a new picture prompt, “element” prompt (based on fire and ice), and a limited word count is given, and writers have 24 hours to submit their story. By Monday, the judges pick a winner.

The Dec. 4 prompt was this picture:

Summer Joy. Black Sea: Odessa, Ukraine. CC2.0 photo by Dmitry Kichenko.

The additional prompt was to either include a stolen identity (fire element) or include a mistaken identity (ice element). The word count was between 140-150 words.

I received a comment on my story (not from the judges), which I thought was lovely enough to share:

“Ouch on so many levels. I cannot see that sweet joyous picture prompt the same way ever again. The detail of the fish getting caught in the net of his trunks is so random–and yet heightens the tragedy in a kick-him-while-he’s-down kind of way. Masterful use of figurative language, like ‘oil spill’, something horrible and can’t be undone.”

A comment on my story here.

You can read the full results here.

My entry had a word count of 150 words, and used the ice element. Here is my entry:

They shot him through the head with a harpoon. The barbed spear popped through the kid’s left eyeball as he splashed up in the water. Clean shot all the way through. His last gasp looked like he was waving to the setting sun, and he sunk below the surface. Fish darted around the new item. An anchovy scurried up the boy’s swim trunk leg and got stuck in the netting.

From their boat, two drunk Scots rolled the spear back in, watching it skate through the water like an oil spill.

The Scots heard ol’ Nessie departed the North Sea. So, for four nights, they tracked her nearly 1,500 miles to the Black Sea, hoping to find her popping out of the water with her long neck.

Then, there she was in the distance. Such fortune! And they shot their spear, with beer spittle settling over handshakes and back pats.

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