Hello Readers, Writers, and Friends,
Friday returns again, and so does the flash fiction. I was so compelled by today’s prompts that I actually wrote the piece and then came back to do all this intro stuff. I have a theory on why that might be. I also have a couple of ideas on women and productivity that I might start to hash out here. We’ll see. Depends on how busy I am 😉
Well, as always I have here for your Friday enjoyment a piece of flash fiction written live, no edits. If you would like to join in the fun take the following prompts and put together a little something of your own. Put it in the comments or a link to where we can find it elsewhere. Today’s prompts are PIRATE and VIOLIN.
The pitch and yaw of the ocean made the planks beneath his feet as insubstantial as the shape of the waves. His crew had been riding this storm for four days. No one had slept in two. No one had kept much down in the last twelve hours. Weakness and fatigue meant the bilge pump wouldn’t be working fast enough.
His arms cramped as he held the wheel, begging the heavens above to relent, but knowing if they didn’t he’d still rather go to his grave with his hands locked in place than have stayed safe in some serf filled farming town.
As if called by his thoughts a wave as mean and monstrous as any he’d ever seen gathered ahead of him. They would never crest it. It would bare down on them with a ferocity that could crush a man’s soul. The captain called to his crew above the shrieking of the wind to hold fast to something, bracing for the impact.
The trap to the cargo hold opened, and a young woman stepped out.
The captain had nearly forgotten the handful of passengers they had picked up in port. Passengers who might not see their destination. He tried to scream a warning to the woman, to get back down below, but there was no time.
He watched in the flash of lightning as she raised a violin to her chin and passed the bow over the strings. He didn’t hear the sound, but he felt it. It quivered within his chest speaking of calm, of peace. His grip not he wheel nearly went slack, but the movement brought him back into the moment.
The wave that threatened to tear the ship into a mass of floating matchsticks, simply sank into the roiling mass of water beneath it, barely washing the deck with its foam.
The captain heard the sweet strains of the violin’s song now as the wind died and the waves calmed. The clouds thinned ever so slightly, letting just enough late afternoon light slip through to glow off the platinum strings.
With no flourish the song ended, bittersweet longing rising in the captain’s chest to meet the new quiet.
The woman returned to the hold, giving the captain a slight bow when she saw him watching from his place at the helm. Then she disappeared into the bowls of the ship. The crew scurried without orders to their various tasks or to bunks for well earned rest.
The captain turned the helm over to the first mate and went to his quarters. He pulled out the manifest that listed the passengers, he scanned the names once. Twice.
He knew the faces of every person on that list. None matched the woman who had emerged from his ship to silence a storm that had threatened to consume them. He had a stowaway. And she possessed magic.