Flash Fiction – The World is Drowning

A few weeks ago I decided to join a local writing group, the Helensburgh Writers’ Workshop. Even though I have only been a member a short while, I have already felt the benefits of joining the group, especially as it’s members are all helpful, friendly and encouraging.

The workshop evenings vary from spotlight or open nights, where members share their current work or focus on particular topics such as publishing or as in last night, flash fiction. I must admit that I am fairly new to the concept of flash fiction but after reading examples I am both impressed and intrigued by the medium. Keeping to a word count writing a short story can be difficult so imagine capturing a moment and reader’s imagination in only 500 words or less.

Yesterday evening, we were given the task to come up with a Flash Fiction which connected to the very topical subject of Climate Change but also interlinked with one of the 7 deadly sins: pride, wrath, envy, lust, sloth, gluttony and greed. The word limit was 200 words.
Below is my attempt at 200 words including the title.

A photograph of waves frothing.  The water is dark grey with white tips.  Off centre, to the left side the edge of a rock can be seen, the waves hitting against it.
Photograph taken by Mikaela Walker

The World is Drowning

“Hey there!  Can you help us?”
The man started at the sudden sound of a voice.  What he thought was another tangled mass of junk drifting on the water, upon looking through his binoculars turned out to be beaten up vessel.  The deck was crowded with at least ten people and the last of their possessions.  They all had sunken cheeks, bulging eyes and clothes hanging off their frames.  Their boat appeared to be floating aimlessly, no sail, no oars and doubtless no fuel.
“Sorry no we’re full and down to our last supplies.” The man shouted back.
The cries of a few carried across the water.  The rest stared sullenly at his craft as the current carried them on, until they were an indistinct silhouette on the horizon once more.

In the evening, he filled his stomach with fish caught by the nets hung along his boat.  He sat back and looked into the distance, frowning.  Grabbing his binoculars, he focused in on the black shapes.  The rocks, there was less of them than there had been fortnight ago.  He sighed, the world around him was slowly drowning but he’d make sure to stay afloat.

Published by kaelawalker

30-something aspiring writer on the West Coast of Scotland. Inspired by nature, beautiful Scotland and my journey coping with physical and mental illness.

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