Dark Sea

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Review Chain

A flash fiction piece for the Review Chain's contest.





How long I’ve been adrift eludes me. The sun comes, scorches my skin, then passes. Repeated until past and future have lost any meaning; there is only now. 

And now, I’m hungry. 

I watch jealously as a confetti of large seabirds whirl and dip into the water like balletic torpedoes. A moment later they surge upward, fishy prizes clamped in pointy beaks. 

My stomach growls.

And a fish drops from above. It thrashes on the floor of the boat in a silver blur, and I clamber for the flashlight to club its head.

A seabird circles just above me. The fish must’ve squirmed its way free from the beak. 

I make a quick meal. Food is life. And I want to live.


Three Days Later


A seabird glides toward me, fish in beak. 

The bird dips lower and releases the catch, dropping it straight into the raft. It circles away, leaving me bewildered. Once could be an accident, but twice? 

Perhaps I resemble a giant baby bird trapped in a floating nest. 


Eight Days Later


I am starving to death. My hair is falling out; my fingers are the size of pencils. 

The vision comes repeatedly--a walloping fish dropping into my lap. Trapped in a semi-conscious state, with the manufactured dreams of a distressed mind, I squeeze the fish between my fingers. But my hands are empty every time. There’s nothing--even the dream is fleeting.

Until it’s not a dream. She appears in reality. My white, life-bringing angel. 

But instead of dropping fish, she spirals downward, landing on the raft with a soft thump. 

I’m horrified to see orange fishing line ensnared around her beak--she can’t open it. 

All I need to do is untangle the line and she’ll be free. 

But… food is life. 

I reach out and grasp her head and her neck between my feeble fingers, and twist.




Submitted: July 07, 2021

© Copyright 2021 XCulletto. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:



Your end was so horrifying, and I hated it, but that's what made me love it. I was definitely not prepared for that end but it was such a powerful ending. I really enjoyed how you captured this scene of desperation of a person stranded at sea and it almost had this feeling of hope when the bird was dropping fish. And then you turned that all on it's head. Slightly disturbing, but very enjoyable.

Sun, July 18th, 2021 10:53pm


Thank you! It was an honor to win the contest because there were some really outstanding entries.

Mon, July 19th, 2021 3:48pm

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