Flash Fiction Challenge: Goodbye Wave

Photo by K.S. Brooks

She watched Chris from the beach as she did every time he surfed. She waited and worried as she did every time.

This was different. Last night, she’d had the dream. The black rose washed up in the surf. The broken board followed.

She’d told Chris. She’d begged him not to go today.

He wouldn’t listen, of course.

In 250 words or less, tell me a story incorporating the elements in the picture. The 250 word limit will be strictly enforced.

Please keep language and subject matter to a PG-13 level.

Use the comment section below to submit your entry. Entries will be accepted until 5:00 PM Pacific Time on Tuesday, July 10th, 2012.

On Wednesday morning, we will open voting to the public with an online poll for the best writing entry accompanying the photo. Voting will be open until 5:00 PM Thursday.

On Friday morning, the winner will be recognized as we post the winning entry along with the picture as a feature. Best of luck to you all in your writing!

Entries only in the comment section. Other comments will be deleted.

*      *      *      *      *

Photograph by K.S. Brooks, used here with the photographer’s permission. Copying or reproduction of any kind without express consent is prohibited. All rights reserved.

For a more detailed explanation of the contest & its workings, please see the post called “Writing Exercises Return with a Twist” from 12/24/11.

By participating in this exercise the contestants agree to the rules of the contest and waive any and all further considerations or permissions otherwise required for any winning entries to be published by Indies Unlimited as an e-book, showcasing all the photos and with the winning expositions credited appropriately and accordingly.

Author: Administrators

All Indies Unlimited staff members, including the admins, are volunteers who work for free. If you enjoy what you read here - all for free - please share with your friends, like us on Facebook and Twitter, and if you don't know how to thank us for all this great, free content - feel free to make a donation! Thanks for being here.

5 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Challenge: Goodbye Wave”

  1. Death always followed Chris as he rode the waves, his face twisted with malice.

    Chris always responded with a wink and a smile as he carved his way down the watery slopes. Death was always a step behind him, and Chris liked to let him know it.

    Today felt different, though. It had started with Maria’s dream. Why would she dream about the black rose that Death always held in his bone-white hands as he hovered above the water? Chris had never told her about that rose. In fact, he had never told her about the black phantom trailing him like his board’s wake.

    Maria had tried to keep him ashore, but he had dismissed her concern. He loved Maria with all his heart, but, as always, the waves had been calling. The waves were his first love and had been a part of his life long before Maria.

    For so many years, Death had watched over his shoulder, always waiting. But Chris was one with the waves. Death would never understand that.

    Until today, that is. With Maria’s dream, Chris should have known Death had a plan. He should have known to heed her warnings. But, the waves reached out their foamy hands and drew him into their cold embrace. Chris did not fight their pull.

    So, Chris crested that final wave. As that wave broke, so did his board. Right before he hit the water, for the first time, he saw Death smile.

  2. Title: Precedence

    The wind was blowing onshore and the waves were gigantic. You would have thought it would blow this fog inland, but it was hanging like an ominous cloud. I’ve been out here for close to a half hour and haven’t caught a wave. I couldn’t feel my hands and looked at them shaking as they gripped the edge of the board.

    Despite the wet suit, the strong wind and the cold ocean were strangely chilling me to the bone. I could hear surfers yelling to each other trying to gauge the incoming waves.

    I guess I love this so much I’ve never given any thought to the danger out here. So, why am I feeling strangely this morning? Cathy shared her dream, but I didn’t pay much attention. However, something was wrong this morning.

    Storms like yesterdays usually provide large waves the next day, but nothing like todays. Each wave lifted me like a plane taking off, and then quickly dropped me like a roller coaster.

    Cathy came with me like she usually does, but when she couldn’t see more than fifty feet out from shore she begged me not to surf today. She was holding her tummy with both hands, tears running down her cheeks. But I was hell bent on surfing.

    We’re expecting our first child, a boy, in two weeks. Strangely, I was paddling for shore. Even over the wind I heard the sirens coming closer. Oh my God!

  3. "Mama, Mama." That night when they had taken him to the hospital–eight years ago, had it been?–half-strangled with infection and pneumonia, they'd had to leave him overnight, and she'd told Jim, on the way back to their car, that the IV looked as wide around as Chris's small thin arm.
    But the boy had healed, grown strong and tall, was headed for college in the fall–Princeton, imagine!–the scholarship paying what, Jim four years gone since his heart attack, she never could. The boy was in love, his eyes on the sky, the girl in his arms; the boy was in love with the sea, the boy rode the wide waves, dared the wind, was her joy.
    When they told her–Sheldon Bond, old Sheriff Bond's first nephew, standing with the two lieutenants on the steps down to her yard that Chris would, every Sunday, obligingly mow, singing one of those "hip, cool" songs–she nodded, took her purse up from the dark green sofa and hung its strap across her shoulder, dug out the key ring–letting her fingers find the long wide black key for car–and, stepping forward, slammed the unlocked house door behind her, led the way down the three wide steps and over the darkening lawn, and then followed the black and red cruisers down Sylvan, Vine, and Main Streets toward the county hospital at First and Grove, and parked, again following the men until they reached the white doors and the wide side hallway to the morgue.
    Jim had bought her, years ago, a snub-nosed .38 for her protection, and so as she put the keys back in the purse she lifted the well-oiled tool and brought the muzzle to her mouth.

  4. The waves rushed frenetically up and down in a sinuous, unpredictable movement. He was riding them conscious of every slight movement that he had to do in order to keep his balance: leaning to hold tight onto the board, standing almost straight and letting the wave wear him in unconditional surrender. His heart pumped the blood at a fast rate and permeated his being with thrilling sensations of joy or fear.

    Every time he surfed, the illusion of control took hold on him and became addictive as one of the worst drugs. But it was enough for a slight error, a second of distraction or an untameable wave to capsize his board and make him struggle to come out into the light for a breath of air. It was then that his illusions were scattered to the winds. It was then that the ocean reminded him a sacred thing: his life was like it—whimsical, unpredictable, pushing him on top of the world for then to release him to his unavoidable fall. He was addicted to his life and its thrills lived in joy or fear.

    (186 words)

  5. Patricia knelt on the beach numb and trembling, a single black rose grasped in her hand, heedless of the sharp thorns. Blood mixed with the salty water dripping down her arm. An icy vise crushed her heart. The rose had washed ashore only moments before Chris’s broken board, just like in her dreams. Did she make this happen? Was it her fault? No amount of pleading could stop Chris from surfing today. Now he was gone, torn from her by the crashing riptide.

    Jackie saw the Black Rose slash the surfer’s board and yanked him under the massive wave. Hate shrouded the assassin like a cloak, masking all but the signature black rose. As Chris was dragged farther into the ocean Jackie’s skin prickled. A dream projection couldn’t drown, but the instinctive fear still made her hesitate. Chris was almost out of sight before Jackie forced her spirit into the churning waters. It took all her concentration to reach him and strike the Black Rose. The assassin screamed in anger as Jackie attacked. Icy hands lashed at Jackie’s neck and she felt her spirit weakening from the onslaught. Desperately, she kicked at the shrouded figure, invoking the strength of the Dream Guardians. A bright light flashed and the Black Rose hissed, then vanished.

    Nearly drained, Jackie dragged Chris’s limp body to the shore and forced air into his lungs. Chris would live, but Jackie’s job was far from over. It was time Patricia learned her dreams were premonitions, not assaults.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: