Margarida Brei is the Readers’ Choice in this week’s Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction Challenge. The winning entry is decided by the popular vote and rewarded with a special feature here today. (In case of a tie, the writer who submitted an entry first is the winner per our rules.) Without further ado, here’s the winning story:
by Margarida Brei
I looked at the column and saw only natural beauty. The rock strata told earth’s history. The well rounded rock edges illustrated how strong wind, ice and water were in carving our destiny. The colours were intriguing -sepia, rust, deep browns, fawns and everything in between. The water running at the bottom was spring fed, icy and pure. The banks along its edge were pitted with fine holes, perhaps once sheltering some prehistoric insect. As a geologist, I found this passage amazing. I was bubbling with excitement until my brother stood behind me.
“Do you realize we have stumbled onto a fortune? We could bottle that water for ridiculous sums. With a little dynamite strategically placed, we could widen that stream into a new age lazy river ride, commercialized by a few automatons.The wider parts could be developed into a wild white river ride. We could build zip lines, a glass floor observatory area, a pedestrian bridge. Brother, we have discovered a gold mine that we could exploit commercially.”
He smiled with pure greed. Whereas I saw the natural beauty in our surroundings, he saw only making money. “Exploit commercially” was his catch phrase. Luckily, the joke was on him this time. On perusing a map, I realized the location of this natural treasure.
Calmly I answered, savouring every word which I knew would foul his commercial plans, “The land belongs to Lord Earling, the great environmentalist.” Hearing this, my brother nearly wept, while I smiled broadly.