Congratulations to Lynne Cantwell, who claims victory as the readers’ choice in this week’s Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction Challenge.
The winning entry is recognized with a special feature here today and a place in our collection of winners which will be published as an e-book at year end.
Without further ado, here’s the winning story:
by Lynne Cantwell
We were in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay, nowhere near Bermuda. How could this be happening?
But it was. Every time I looked at the thing, it was closer. It had to be moving impossibly fast.
Finally, the captain sprang to life. “Battle stations!” he roared.
I focused on the useless radar screen before me as the klaxons began wailing.
“Radar! Report!” Cappy barked at me.
I shrugged. “Still nothing, sir.”
“Should we turn, sir?” asked Klein at the helm.
Cappy’s shoulders sagged. Then, resolutely, he lifted them again. “No,” he said. “Hold your course.”
One of the survivors burst through bridge door. “Hard about!” he shrieked, eyes wide as a madman’s, as he grabbed Cappy’s shoulders and shook him. Another sailor and I sprang from our seats to peel him off.
“No,” Cappy said again. “We won’t turn tail and run.”
The man collapsed and curled into a ball, keening.
I turned back to the window. The thing was almost on us. It was bigger than an aircraft carrier, its hide a sickly, pulsing green. And its eyes –
Cappy grabbed the microphone, bellowing, “This is the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Intrepid. State your name and affiliation.”
The leviathan blinked. Then, with a roar, it opened its maw and…bit.
When I came to, I was clinging to a piece of wreckage. I saw no one else — except the survivor who had tried to save us. “Hard about,” he muttered as he began to sob. “Hard about!”