Friday 4 April 2014

Flash Fiction: Wrecked

He was an unusual find, there at sunrise by the high-water mark, embedded in a four-poster wreck, tucked cosily into a seaweed-brocade net, a drinking-horn shell to his ear like a pillow, like a hearing aid, like a seafood cornucopia that had missed his mouth, a mouth half open beneath half-closed eyes.

Alive or dead? Dead or alive? She was answered by a cough, a snort and a crescendo of snores, waves of sleep breaking into foam, rolling in from a deeper dreamy sea. The seventh wave washed him onto the waking shore, his eyes half opened.

"Flotsam or jetsam?" she asked, head cocked to match his sleepy skew.


"Which are you?"

"I... I don't know. I don't think I'm either. I mean," he said, removing the shell from the side of his head, casting it into his cradle, "this is the wreck, not me."

"So why are you here?"

"I... I don't know. I remember drinking... drinking a lot." His hand reached up to the side of his head as if to restore the shell, as if its removal had undammed a dam, unplugged a plug, unhinged a hangover.

She passed him a bubble pack of tablets, part of some lost shipment spilt across the beach just yesterday, studying him as he popped two and swallowed.

"It's OK, you can keep them," she said when he offered back the remaining unburst bubbles, "flotsam." She continued along the shore leaving him in her wake. She would not claim him.

"Wrecked" was first published with Flash Frontier. More background here.

1 comment:

Matthew Eaton said...

Very interesting snippet. Great work with this, thanks for sharing!