Poll

Which story gets your vote?

A Fish Tale
10 (71.4%)
Lost . . . or Found?
4 (28.6%)

Total Members Voted: 12

Voting closed: August 15, 2014, 08:51:18 AM

Author Topic: The winner is . . . - FF#88 Voting  (Read 3149 times)

Offline 510bhan

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The winner is . . . - FF#88 Voting
« on: August 08, 2014, 08:51:18 AM »
Artemis Quark with A Fish Tale -- congratulations -- you get to set the next challenge. ;D ;D ;D  Thanks to the two who entered, funny that the both involved a boat. :D


A Fish Tale

The oil slick spread silently around me. A pungent odor from the briny cocktail of fuel, chum bait, and sea water filled my nose, coaxed my breakfast back up to the back of my mouth. Not very tasty the second time. Still strapped to the wooden fighting chair, I lost the rod but held onto the bottle of tequila. Good on both counts or I would have been the first serving for the brute on the other end of the line and worse still, had nothing to sate my thirst.

Some game fish, more like Jaws reincarnated. The boat went down within a minute of the strike. The crazy Carcharodon ripped off the entire transom in one bite. Lucky for me, the chair-mount snapped away from the deck, catapulting me clear of the hull. The floating chair cushions stayed under my back and butt. There I was, relaxing adrift in a sea-level chaise lounge. My own personal spa. The aforementioned diesel slick hadn't lit up yet. I thought my luck might run out and maybe the big fish liked roast man anyway. It was time for a drink.

Ah, that was good tequila. Thirst quenched, my attention returned to the bigger problem. Where the hell was the monster fish? A question I'd rather not have had answered with what I saw next. Smoke from the burning wreckage still afloat stung my eyes. My vision was blurred but still clear enough to see the fin rise between the swells rolling toward me. This did not look promising. I pulled my legs out of the water, wrapped my arms around my knees and hoped the beast was just curious. God knows she'd eaten plenty already. How many men can a twenty-foot Great White consume? Six crew members so far and then there's me. I guess I'll find out soon enough.

She cruised up to the chair at half throttle, bumping the side. I could feel the stub of aluminum chair-base vibrate when her sandpaper skin scraped past. Evidently, she had a thing for metal and clamped on to it as she made a second pass. Here we go, Nantucket sleigh ride except this one required holding my breath. I had to choose abandoning my little ship Chaise Lounge or hang on and hope for the best.

Well, sometimes hope does deliver the best. It seems the shark enjoyed a shot of tequila now and then so I obliged her, shoving the whole half-gallon bottle of Gran Patron Platinum between her jaws. Now that's nearly three dozen shots, accounting for the few pulls I partook earlier. Even a 7000-pound fish can't handle that much alcohol in one gulp. When the bottle shattered between her teeth, her smile rivaled Mona Lisa's. Lucky fisherman that I am, she released the chair, I bobbed to the surface just in time to flag down the Coast Guard chopper hovering over the oil slick.




LOST … OR FOUND?

Calvin sat in the low folding chair, looking at the sea. The chair was just above the wash line as the tide came in.

On his right was a small table with a bottle of wine and an overflowing ashtray. He had a glass of wine in his left hand and a cigarette in his right.

A sea breeze blew in his face, hot and damp. It rustled his white hair, even though it was filled with salt. His toes curled into the dry sand.

He thought of nothing. That is, his mind was blank, not that he actively was thinking of ‘nothingness’. He had been here for four hours, sometimes moving the chair to keep it under the ever-changing shadow of the large umbrella. That shade let him remain on the beach; the blast of sun would otherwise have driven him in.

He was old, and alone. He had once had a family, parents, a wife and son. They had died. Now, he spent his entire small pension sitting at the beach drinking wine, sleeping in a cheap long-stay motel. He had no more desires, no lusts that were unsatisfied. He thought of nothing.

This is not what he planned. But who plans their life arc? He never ‘planned’ to fall in love, become a father, get old. It just happened.

He was not a religious man, did not expect to meet his wife and son in an afterlife. He had a vague, never voiced wish that he would come back and meet her again in another life. His logical mind rejected that as ridiculous.

As the sun sank and the tide reversed, just as unplanned as everything else, he found something. The cigarette dropped from his fingers and the glass fell from his hand. His chest stopped moving. The darkness closed in. He found comfort and peace.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2014, 09:21:12 AM by 510bhan »

Offline 510bhan

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Re: The winner is . . . - FF#88 Voting
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2014, 09:23:21 AM »
Congratulations AQ. ;D ;D ;D ;D

Offline The Dude Abides

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Re: The winner is . . . - FF#88 Voting
« Reply #2 on: August 15, 2014, 09:44:28 AM »
Congratulations. I knew I was beaten as soon as I read your story.
"Little red wagon
Little red bike
I ain’t no monkey but I know what I like"
                 Buckets of Rain, Bob Dylan

Offline Mrs N

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Re: The winner is . . . - FF#88 Voting
« Reply #3 on: August 15, 2014, 10:02:49 AM »
Congratulations AQ. ;D Two great stories, but you got my vote. 

Artemis Quark

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Re: The winner is . . . - FF#88 Voting
« Reply #4 on: August 15, 2014, 10:53:35 AM »
Wow. Thanks Sio. Your prompt awakened a creative idea in my foggy mind. It just rolled in off the Straits of Florida.  ;D 

Thanks Dude. I voted for your story. I'll split the prize.  ;)

Thanks for your support Mrs N.

AQ

Offline Laura H

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Re: The winner is . . . - FF#88 Voting
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2014, 06:06:49 PM »
Congratulations!
“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” ― Maya Angelou

“Don't be like the rest of them, darling.” ― Eudora Welty

Artemis Quark

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Re: The winner is . . . - FF#88 Voting
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2014, 06:53:14 PM »
Congratulations!
Thanks Laura. Have you looked at the new challenge?

AQ