After my last bit of flash fiction, I found it a fun way to keep my writing muscles pumped. Here’s my response to Chuck Wendig’s latest Flash Fiction Challenge. The title/topic was chosen by a random number generator, picking two words from two lists.
She tries to push me around with her invisible finger, but I usually hold fast. When her winds blow, I take down the sails. When the currents surge, I row against them until I’m slippery with sweat and my palms burn.
As I navigate my mind, my Earth, I rarely consult The Map. I visit familiar places. But when I grow bored, I look down at The Great Unknown highlighted by tentacled beasts.
That is where She ushers.
Often I sit at its edge, like the day before yesterday, and stare into the expanse. It was then that I knew She had been gathering her strength and I found myself thrust into the uncharted.
Several days in, I saw no monsters, but The Great Unknown, it did exist and appeared endless. The winds died but the stars were strangers. Having lost all sense of direction, I wasn’t sure how to get back.
I raised my fist at Her.
Exhausted, I fell asleep. I was shaken awake by a sudden halt. Peering over the bulwark, I beheld a small, brown, barren island upon which I was anchored. I began to despair until a glint caught my eye from the middle of the bar.
I rappelled down the side of my ship and marched through ankle-deep mud to that shiny thing. The closer I got, the dimmer it grew. Before my eyes lost its place, I reached down and picked it up. I opened my palm and stared at a tiny, heavy seed.
I fell to my knees and dug a hole with my hands, tossed in the seed and covered it back up. The tide began to rise and I quickly returned to my ship. As I floated away, I looked back and saw a sapling reaching out from the mud. It grew until the island was covered with Life. My eyes soon grew overwhelmed by the spectacle and I fell asleep, waking to familiar stars.
I sit at my desk now, mulling over a blank sheet of papyrus. I dip my quill into the inkwell and begin to redraw The Map. The tentacled beasts, The Great Unknown, they are still there but have shifted away from the island.
I know that I will soon be sailing once again with The Map in hand, filled with a fresh resistance to Her calls.