Flash Fiction: Live From Kanab!

Hello Readers, Writers, and Friends,

I am coming to you live-ish from the Kanab Writer’s Conference. As a part of my class on writing exercises and the best ways to use them we did our own flash fiction. You can read it below. Better yet you can participate with me as always.

In keeping with the novel environ (alternately sun and rain drenched and 100% gorgeous) I am trying something new. Affirmations as prompts. I’m going to do a post on this topic exclusively later on, but you can read my fiction and see how I incorporated today’s affirmation. Ready to give it a go? Come on!

Today’s Prompts: Person who is always late, where is everyone?, Today I choose to nourish my body by making healthy choices, Seagull

Photo by Liz Lauren on Pexels.com

Norman didn’t think anything about the empty beach as he landed. The early morning hours were always the quietest and he preferred to watch the sun rise on his own before the day’s feeding frenzy began. The ocean breeze was just as salty and raw as always. It tickled his feathers. There were no stray calls from other birds, trying to start the day before it properly got underway. He would linger with his feet in the sand, leaving their tell-tale prints as he walked along, the surf softly brushing them away as it washed over his spindly little legs.

He was self conscious of those legs, skinny even by gull standards. One more reason he walked alone each morning, hoping to build them up through daily exercise. His sure steps interrupted, with his eyes on the horizon, by some lumpy bit of sea trash. He fluttered into a short hop, and turned to assess the offending object.

It wasn’t trash.

It was Dave. Dave who always stole the choices mussels right out of his beak. Dave to had three different nest mates and who knew how many descendants. But Dave wasn’t floating or flying or looking to start a fight like usual.

Dave was dead.

His feathers were still sleek, but his wings spread out in a useless glide that would take him nowhere.

Norman looked up and down the beach only to find that the salt in the air had hidden the rank truth. His friends. His cousins. The flock that had pecked and flapped and fed with him since he had hatched beneath his mother, lay scattered across their home.

The cry that left him was nothing like the victory of finding food or calling to a friend or begging Dave to stop kicking him. This cry could be heard for miles up and down the shore, all the more piercing for the silence that surrounded him.

What could have done this?

What could have stolen all he had known from him in less than a night?

Where would he go now?

Norman took to the skies, still screeching, unable to stop, hoping to get the right view of the world from up on the wing.

Up above the bodies became specks. Little spots and dots like stars in the sky, but they didn’t twinkle. They didn’t move at all.

Norman flew for barely a mile before he found a great green nest. A depression in a rock of some kind. It was filled with fish.

He landed on the edge and could smell the fishy deliciousness. And something else.

Something that made him hop down from the nest. He circled it.

Great red marks, like this: Caution! Toxic! stood out from the side of this strange rock bowl.

He was hungry.

But he was also used to being hungry while Dave and his friends stole his food and made fun of his legs. He was used to waiting until the sun was fully up and the other gulls had had their fill for the morning. He was used to being last.

Now he was the only.

Norman flew inland. Farther than he ever had before. He found a tide pool that smelled too clean and not like salt at all. But he could smell the food here too. It wasn’t all heaped together too perfect and so wrong all at once.

“Mommy, look it’s a seagull.”

Before mommy could stop him the tiny creature threw a bit of his food at norman. He sniffed, but he was too hungry now to ignore it.

He gobbled it. Gulped it. Meaty like a muscle but saltier and sturdier. It didn’t slide down the throat like a mussel, but it filled his stomach just as well.

He hopped out of the water, sat next to the tiny creature who made squealing noises of its own. Not sad, lost sounds. High-pitched happy sounds. It touched his feathers and retreated, chirping. It brought him not a piece of its odd meaty meal, but a whole one.

Norman nibbled. Then Norman nabbed. He fell asleep.

He awoke to more creatures. Bigger ones. His wings were bound, he couldn’t get out, but then the tiny one came and stroked his head.

“It’s okay.” it said. Norman didn’t know what that meant, but the tiny fingers on his feathers felt like his mother’s beak ruffling his head when he was small and safe.

“He must have escaped that dumping. Smart little guy to get away from the water.” The bigger creature picked him up and put him a cave just big enough to hold him.

“What’s going to happen to him?” the tiny one cried.

“We’ll take good care of him. We’ll tag him and release him somewhere safe.”

The cave swung back and forth. Norman didn’t know what was happening, the rocking felt like being on the waves, the water. It might not have been home, but it was better than being in that constellation of unblinking stars he’d left behind.


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