Another Fun Fantabulous Flash Fiction Photo-Prompt Challenge, brought to us by Nicole Pyles, at the World of My Imagination.
The rules are simple:
1) Use the photo and the 5 words provided in your story.
2) Keep your word count 500 or less.
ABDUCTION FROM HUGE STONE
He awoke suspended from the gallows-bitts. Watch, cane, and provisions gone.
Blind, he didn’t know this, but he felt the rocking of waves, and smelt the salty scent of the sea upon the on-shore breeze.
He had found a ship in Huge Stone all right, just not the kind he had in mind, nor the manner of finding it.
It was night before he’d reached the ruined city, speaking the appointed words again and again with no reception.
Then he felt the warmth, and heard the flames flicker from the oil lamp lights burning bright.
“Huge Stone, the Eagle has landed.”
He received a reception then—a laugh and a club on the head. He’d fought, but only for a moment.
Now he was a prisoner aboard a foreign craft.
There was action all around; shouts to make ready, and feet thundering.
Three men approached.
“This all they got?” a gruff voice asked.
“He’s strong, Captain—broke several of the boys that brought him down.”
“A fighter, huh?” the Captain said. “Fighter’s always good on the oars. Chain ‘im in.”
He was taken below decks and seated on a wooden bench covered by burlap. This was to double as either his blanket or sleeping mat, whichever he preferred, he was told.
As the tide rolled in they set sail, rowing out against the waves
The meals he would have to look forward to were rice, flavored with chickens’ feet. The weevils were the real staple in their diet, and would offer the only protein they’d be gifted.
He swallowed them down with the bitter taste of anger.
The chickens’ feet he chewed to the bone, the reptilian-like skin reminding him of thick root bark. The bones he hid in his cheeks.
At night when the guard slumbered, he’d test the shape and form of the locks on his chains; probing to discover their manufacture and methodology. In the night he pulled hair to tie the bones in the correct shape for his purpose.
On the third day there was a great commotion up topside. The others couldn’t hear, but he could … an enemy of these pirates was sailing right for them.
This was his opportunity.
The drum called for them to row. Row he did, with all his might.
Even over the unison splashing of their oars, he could hear also the oars of the enemy.
The collision was colossal as the two ships rammed each other.
A great commotion was heard above.
He spit the “key” from his mouth, picked the lock, and ran the direction he knew the exit to be.
He stumbled up the stairs, and made it to the aft section of the ship.
Three men he fought blind, his training taking over, until finally he was able to leap free and splash down into the deep blue.
He paddled until the voices had silenced from even his sensitive ears, and then floated, and felt the direction the water told him he should swim.
Winter and the open ocean … was it freedom?
Word count – 499