Ahoy! I spotted yet another flash fiction contest. This one limited to 150 words (give or take 10) over at Flash! Friday. This last Friday’s picture prompt gave us a castaway sailor (Marooned, a painting by Howard Pyle) and the word “arrogance”:
I loved the challenge of telling a story in 160 words!
Once the final was cut down, their wasn’t much “arrogance” left to my tale, but it continues to keep company with Marooned. The winner/runners-up/honorable mentions are all here. Tough competition–of the three I had pegged as in the top (and even with the theme of arrogance floating about, my top three didn’t include mine), only one hit honorable mention. Ah, well, it gets us all writing–always a positive.
Comet, 160 words
The curtain of dust shimmers, an aurora draped so close I can touch it. Stars pierce it with their fierce light.
The rubble mantle shifts under my back. Methane ice sublimates in streamers as the comet breathes around me. Girders of my shattered ship poke at the endless night.
Don’t feel sorry for me. I am full.
“What about Miri?” he raged, but what he really meant was, “What about me?”
When I left, Miri was starting high school. Now, her own children were probably in kindergarten.
How could I tell Miri to follow her dreams if I never followed my own?
I followed mine here.
“Come with me,” I said but knew he wouldn’t. The stars were never his dream.
Oort-ward, distance englobes the system. Planets collapse into the shrink-wrapped sun. Astral light embraces me with tiny dimpled hands.
Embalmed in this suit, my body will one day make the long return so my great-grandchildren can collect the bones.