Jane Dougherty’s Microfiction Challenge: The coming of the sea king

sjoekungens_drottning_by_john_bauer_1911

 

‘And how often do you have the dream?’ she asks.

Every part of me feels heavy, as if I’m bloated flesh washed up on the shore, seaweed laced in my hair. I begin to drift away again, the chemical smell in the room, the lights that slice my eyes like blunt razors fading to points.

‘Sophie.’ Again that sharp voice, like a hook trying to pluck thoughts from my head, dragging me back. ‘Sophie. When do you have the dream?’

My lips open, words slip out, slimy on my tongue. ‘What dream?’

This is what the voice doesn’t understand. I don’t dream. Never. I’ve no use for fantasy, only for my other life.

I can hear the impatience in the voice as she says, ‘Perhaps we should talk another day.’

It’s then I smell it. The metal tang, the scent of the deep ocean, of sand and shale, starfish and baleen, the waft of coral after a storm. I open my eyes. Sunlight has been swallowed. Instead the world is green, walls rippling, my hair suspended about me, pulled by the current, questing through soft waves.

A hand touches my cheek. He’s come for me.

 


Written for Jane Dougherty’s Microfiction Challenge. See the gorgeous painting and write a story to go along. See here to join in and to read the other tales.

 

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22 thoughts on “Jane Dougherty’s Microfiction Challenge: The coming of the sea king

    1. Haha! Thanks, I’m delighted you found it chilling. Absolutely the point. And it is a good time of year for these things … Thank you for reading 🙂

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  1. It must say something about me that I didn’t find this chilling. Exciting and mysterious, but not frightening in the least. It sounds as if she’s in for quite an adventure! Lovely use of language, by the way—a writer after my own heart 🙂

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    1. Funny, that was my approach while writing. I like that it chilled some readers, but my intention was for mystery and excitement at the return of her beloved. And thank you for the lovely feedback – it means a great deal 🙂

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  2. I didn’t find it chilling either, although there’s a fine line between creative adventure and madness, no? I was more moved by the clinging, clawing claustrophobia of the real world, and then the relief at her beloved Sea King’s return. Fabulous connection to the picture.

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    1. I suspect those of us who didn’t find it chilling (me included) rather like a bit of spec fic and quite fancy being whisked off to an undersea kingdom by a hunky sea monarch. What’s so wrong in that, I’d like to know? 🙂 Thank you Joy x

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    1. Thank you so much. What a lovely comment and I’m so glad you liked it. I’m sure the poor woman in the story will be happier now – whether he has truly come for her or it’s just her imagination. Thanks again 🙂

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  3. Fascinating read. What world is real or real to her? For her I think it’s the world of her dreams in the sea with him, but is it a dream? Or is the dream the voice asking her if she’s dreaming?

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