Flash Fiction Challenge: Morning on the Bay

Morning on the bay is like nowhere else. Manuel could hear the the cries of seabirds and smell the richness of life itself in the air.

The dinghies softly knocked against the wooden wharf with the gentle lap of the waves. Smaller and brightly colored boats were pulled up onto the beach and inverted, like sea turtles that had decided on a nap.

Manuel breathed deeply and let the promise of a new day wash over his body. In rare moments like this, there was peace–not just peace, but also a real sense of freedom. It was the freedom from worry and the burdens of daily life.

He wished it would last forever, but he had a body to dump in the ocean, and the shore patrol would be snooping around soon.

In 250 words or less, tell us 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, April 30th, 2013.

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. See HERE for additional information and terms.

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5 thoughts on “Flash Fiction Challenge: Morning on the Bay”

  1. Her mother was a Tijuana whore. Maria had spent most of her childhood surviving on the streets. Manuel had been attracted to her tough edge and dark, untamed beauty. He had shared his bed with her several times before she duped him into marriage by feigning pregnancy. It wasn’t until after the wedding that Manuel discovered the truth about Maria. Not only was she barren, she was a cruel, hateful, violent bitch. She was also a powerful Bruja, trained by her grandmother, who came from a long line of practitioners of the ancient magical arts. Manuel had tried to leave her but she had warned him that he would never escape from her. She threatened to use black magic on him if he tried to leave. The fear of being hexed had kept him with her for five years but now he was free. A bit of poison in her tequila and the deed was done. Her raven hair billowed in the waves like dark seaweed, softly framing her face as she sunk. She was still so beautiful, even in death. He sighed and waded back to shore.
    Suddenly something grabbed his ankle, pulling his feet from underneath him. Manuel screamed in terror and clawed at the sand as he felt himself being dragged back into the sea.
    As his head went under the last thing he heard was an evil, watery laugh, “I told you you’d never escape me, Manuel! Never!”

  2. Early morning sun gilded tranquil waters. Silence, save for the nearly imperceptible slap of wavelets against the posts of an aged pier, held a tenuous grip pending completion of leisurely awakening by the area’s bird, wildlife and human inhabitants.
    No traffic noises competed for the attention of a lone heron as it scanned the waters for a morning feast. The toll booth where drivers paid to cross the bridge as they hurried to destinations on the other side of the water was at yet unoccupied.
    Peace now overlay the vicinity like an iridescent blanket.
    The only other witness to the newly forming day rested in the bottom of a dinghy tied to the post atop which the heron perched. This spectator lay undisturbed by rays emitted from the rising sun, slumber uninterrupted by the repeated low creak as the small craft bumped the pier in a gentle caress. Scarlet fluid seeped from an unsightly hole above one eye and drained down the side of a silent face to stain the boards beneath the body.
    The old fisherman bid farewell to his corporeal self as his essence disappeared into a light superior to any source ever witnessed. Tranquility greater than any he had experienced enveloped him as he entered a new existence far removed from the violence that ended his years on the bay.

  3. The WITSEC program was just not for Manuel any longer. Whoever thought that a U.S. Marshal could not be bought obviously had no idea of the reach and resources of Los Zetas. It seemed like the only retirement plan for one of the most skilled hitmen in North America. It was not an occupation that provided much in the way of long term financial planning. So it was that Manuel met with federal prosecutors in Dallas back in December. In exchange for information and the promise to testify against major players in the drug cartel, Manuel was given a new chance at life. A decent job here in San Diego, a new identity, and the slim chance of not being traceable.

    That was until his corrupt handler sold information to some Zetas. He had to kill two of his former colleges and go through three new identities before it finally occurred to him that the leak was his case handler. A man who had acted like family to Manuel throughout the entire process. Well the U.S. Attorney would have to try and prosecute suspects without a witness. The leads Manuel had provided would have to do.

    With a foot, Manuel shoved the weighted body of Marshal Jones over the edge of the pier. Time to select a nice boat to sail off in. Manuel thought it might be nice to sail up to Seattle, one of these boats should be up to the trip.

  4. The body plummeted down into the murky water off the pier. The weights tied around the ankles of Manuel’s latest target help speed the body’s descent. Manuel casually wiped his hands and cracked his knuckles, slowly, one pop at a time. It was tradition, after each disposal, to stretch his body out for the next. Cathartic, too. His phone vibrated inside his leather jacket.

    “Yes,” he answered.

    “Is it done?” the man on the other end asked.

    “Nearly,” Manuel replied. “One more and all our problems will be solved.”

    “Good,” the man replied. “The first half of your payment has been wired to your account. The second half will arrive once the final contract is complete.”

    “As agreed,” Manuel said. “Oh, and one more thing, Agent Rodriguez.”

    “What,” replied the FBI agent tersely.

    “Say hello to Saint Peter for me.”

    He clicked the small radio receiver in his other pocket. The explosion was too far away from the pier for Manuel to hear. The lost signal from the other side of the call confirmed his kill.

    Manuel sat on the edge pier and watched the sun rise up across the horizon. The heat washed over him, bathing his body in a brilliant radiance. Sunrise was his favorite time of day, a time to wash away the stains of the previous day.

    The text message buzzed in his phone.

    “Don’t worry,” Manuel sang quietly to himself as he checked that the second payment had transferred through securely. “Be happy.”

  5. Love by the Bay

    Josie fingered the ring on her left hand and gazed out at the bay, the beauty of the sunset lost on her.

    She’d known her marriage was over. Years of fighting and Greg’s infidelities made her realize it was done. Dead. No longer viable.

    The cry of a seagull caught her attention for a minute, making her think of their last weekend out on the boat. The bay had been beautiful, the waters calm. Sipping a margarita, she’d relaxed and tried to stir up some of the feelings she’d had for Greg when they first met. But when she found him whispering on his phone to someone else, she knew how foolish she’d been, no matter how much he apologized or said he loved her.

    He never expected the clunk of the wine bottle against the back of his head. She never looked back when his body hit the water.

    Standing at the pier’s end, she slipped off her wedding ring and let it drop into the bay’s waters below. Peering down, she wondered at the sudden stirring and splashing.

    No one heard her screams as Greg’s ghoulish form rose up and pulled her down into his watery grave, to be together with him, forever.

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