National Flash Fiction Day Contribution

May 16, 2012


Bare As Bones 

Standing along the shore at the edge of the cove, Simona sees the mainsail fluttering in the breeze above the cool blue of the water.

She knows the lines of the ship as well as the curves of her own body, for both were brought to life by the same man and both are irrevocably intertwined in his mind: flesh and splinters, hair and twine, blood and water, clothes and canvas.

Sliding free of the heavily pleated cotton gown, like a caterpillar escaping the confines of its cocoon, she takes to the water for an afternoon swim.

Watching from his perch in the crow's nest, Fenris spies his sun-kissed mermaid. Though the long-glass distorts her body, he has no need of it to appreciate her. His fingertips know every inch of her skin and her image is tattooed into the underside of his eyelids.

He has become incapable of banishing his longing for even the most intangible parts of her, so that now, he can no longer remain at bay.

When she rises from the water clothed only in twilight, the pirate stands waiting for her. His swarthy face is full of unpleasant angles and innumerable scars, and his smile is darkly frightening, like an alligator drawing back its lips to reveal its teeth. But she has no fear of this air-breathing leviathan.

Stepping into her chemise, she says, “Unless your sail is furled, we've nothing to talk about."

His mouth thins into a grim line. "The Nautilis is sea-bound and so am I."

"Then I bid you good night and safe journey."

He growls after her: "You know I won't sleep a wink so long as you're landlocked!"

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Finding no solace in sleep, Simona opens the window, hoping fresh air and the scent of bayberries will settle her, but she finds herself breathlessly exhilarated instead. Beyond the mouth of the lagoon, the ship is a shadowy skeleton beneath the starry midnight sky and its mast is bare as bones.



8 Responses to National Flash Fiction Day Contribution

  1. May 16, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    Oh-kay-doe-kay! My thoughts in more than 140 spaces. And your first number comment from yours truly. Your welcome.
    1. I love the tone you set. Haunting. Magical. There is longing and passion yet a darker edge to it. The voice behind the story is lyrical. It's like a song being sung to me.
    2. Your descriptions like–

    his smile is darkly frightening, like an alligator drawing back its lips to reveal its teeth

    Oh so wonderful! And I can see it in my head, him smiling like a predator ready to eat her up.
    3. The switch in perspective at the end made me want to weep for Simona. Her longing. Her unrest.
    4. The setting is extremely vivid. Waves crashing. Salt in ones hair. All combine to give texture to the story!
    5. Overall, love love love. I think I've gusted. *blushes* And I am ever so grateful you shared it!
    YAY for flash fiction day!

    • Bullish
      May 17, 2012 at 11:17 pm

      Thank you so much for your enthusiastic reply!! I love the alligator simile too because I can so clearly see his great big terrible grimace of a smile!! So glad you enjoyed the story and thank you for letting me drag you into the National Flash Fiction Day hoop-a-la!! *hugs* 

  2. Lisa Shambrook (@LastKrystallos)
    May 17, 2012 at 6:29 am

    Ang got it right talking about the longing and passion…you can taste the salty air and hear the waves crashing, and  feel the passion leaping right from the page… Gorgeous, Ruth!

    • Bullish
      May 17, 2012 at 11:19 pm

      Thanks, Lisa!! It was fun to get the pirate and his water nymph down on the page!! That Simona is a feisty wench!! :) 

  3. May 17, 2012 at 9:41 am

    John Magnet Bell made some commotion about your flash fiction and now I see why. 
    Stan Faryna recently posted..Woo Hoo! Free Silver for the Avengers FB Game, @12Most, #dadchat, @GuyKawasaki and I won a book!My Profile

    • Bullish
      May 17, 2012 at 11:21 pm

      Thank you, Stan! So glad you enjoyed the read, in spite of JMB's oversell. :) 

  4. May 18, 2012 at 9:53 am

    Great stuff, Ruth. :)

  5. May 18, 2012 at 10:13 am

    This shows the pen of a soul dipped in the ink of a well honed imagination. Ruth you stalk the page…

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