Another Fun Fantabulous Flash Fiction Photo-Prompt Challenge, brought to us by Carrie Sorensen, of Chasing Revery.
The rules are simple:
1) Use the photo and the 5 words provided in your story.
2) Keep your word count 500 or less.
Laugh, Saw, Lord, Degree, Binge.
This is the third adventure in the story of Huge Stone. I am going to keep on trucking with it. I hope you all enjoy it. My little extra challenge was to get all five words into the same sentence and in the same order given.
Adrift From Huge Stone
Weariness and cold had forced the young man to cease swimming at mid-day. He had consciously slowed his metabolic rate by nearly half to conserve precious energy, and to counter hypothermia, yet he retained his acute mental awareness. Again, his training would save him. He floated on his back, drifting with the prevailing current.
Something large swam underneath him at dusk the second day. He knew what it was when he heard the dorsal fin cutting the water.
The shark was unsure of what it was that it had found floating in the open sea. It bumped the thing to see if it moved. It felt no heart beat.
The man wanted to laugh as, confounded by what it saw, the carnivorous lord of the seas bumped him harder the second and third time, its degree of agitation increasing; not knowing whether this was a meaty morsel for a feeding binge, or simply drifting flotsam.
The shark nudge the man a final time before it vanished into the ocean’s depths.
In his low metabolic state he couldn’t feel the cold, but he was aware of his body’s suffering. He guessed he had maybe four days before dehydration would put him over tolerances.
The fourth day came, and his mind succumbed to his condition, and he mentally drifted as well.
* * * * *
Home in Mymammy; bright sun shining, air thick with humidity, the delta muddy after the monsoon. With the water too murky to fish, they had gone hunting; he on the north shore, and Father on the south further inland. His catch was draped across his shoulder. The gator he’d speared was as long as he was tall.
He heard both boats knocking together next to their stilt hut on the delta. Father was home.
Mother rushed out to the deck covered with blood, her face panicked. She saw him.
“Ky’Ree! It’s Father! Hurry!”
Ky’Ree’s prize and spear was dropped and forgotten as he leapt into the brown waters of the delta, and swam across to home.
Ky’ree could smell the blood; the boat was drenched in it. He slipped in gore as he ran up the stairs of their hut. Inside Father, pale and limp, was lying on the floor. Ky’Ree heard Father’s labored breathing, and ran to him.
“His leg, Ky!”
Ky’Ree felt down Father’s thighs. The right leg below the knee was gone; only a shredded meaty stump remained. Fishing line had been wrapped tight above the mangled knee.
Feeling the blood, the wound, and Father’s cold complexion, Ky’Ree knew…
Only a few more breaths did the man who taught him everything take before he passed on to the Crossroads. Ky’Ree felt Mother’s hands on his face but could no longer sense her.
No, not Mother’s … softer, younger…
* * * * *
Ky’Ree returned to consciousness. There were hands stroking his face. He reached up and touched a young woman’s. He could not sit up.
“No. Stay you. Safe now, Fish-man. Safe…”
All was darkness again…
Word count: 499