Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Once Upon a Time...

Photograph by Lisa Shambrook

Once Upon a Time - Flash Fiction

The Wind, the Rain and the Ocean...

Clouds billowed across the heavens teasing the little sail boat rocking in the ocean’s arms below. The sailor glanced skyward and Rain offered a light-hearted shower, her watery robes glistening in the sunlight.
Wind whipped her skirts about her and hurled her sister a glare interrupting the sprinkle. “You won’t win like that!” she hissed sending her own provocative sigh into the little boat’s sails.
“Well you’re not doing any better!” said Rain resuming her shower, crystal raindrops shrouding the wooden mast.
Wind swept out her hands and blew her sister’s fluffy clouds away, scattering her sparkling drizzle across the sea. Wind smirked and pitched a gale. Her long hair fluttered in the remnants of the storm and Wind sent a swirling gust to envelope the sailor amid the violent squall.
Rain clapped her hands, darkened her clouds and her torrents engulfed the boat.
Wind whipped up a fury, “He’ll be mine, not yours!” she shrieked her temper flaring as rain poured.
The drenched, shivering man on the deck below cursed them both as the tempest arose.
 Wind, determined to beat her sister, stirred up a whirlwind and coiled her tendrils around the sailor, but Rain wasn’t to be outdone and let her roiling clouds release their cascade in a waterfall of tears. The valiant sailor fought as howling wind swept his boat awry, and torrential rain flooded the deck leaving him clinging to the rail of his boat.
The storm flourished as Wind and Rain battled conjuring up blazing lightning and ear-splitting thunder…and as they did waves swirled and churned beneath the tiny boat, booming against the bow and hurtling across its deck. Beneath the keel Ocean smothered a chuckle and allowed her sisters’ fight to escalate. Their ensuing wrath would assault her in vain but their prize was hers.
Ocean tossed her white hair as it danced on the waves and drew the little vessel beneath the spray. The sailor slipped into her grasp and quietly acquiesced within her embrace and kiss…after all, she knew what her sisters didn’t – a sailor always gives his life to the Ocean.

(350 words)


  1. Two words that pop into my mind while reading this are haunting and beautiful. It made me recall The Open Boat by Stephen Crane. Nature holds a power man will never be able to tame. Great read. Thank you for sharing.

  2. The Sea Mistress always has the last say. Nice one! :)

  3. That is almost Shakespearean .... but you'll understand it if I don't read it aloud to Badger who is a retired submariner and would go broody if I did.

    I loved it xx

  4. Wonderful crafted. Lyrical and beautiful. Poor sailor, a typical man beset by the women who desire him. LOL. I loved it

  5. Lisa, how beautiful! I agree with Cameron, your story swirls in a Shakespearean way. Your story of the battle is indeed an unexpected fairytale. Well done!

  6. Thank you for your lovely comments! I've had to reread it myself to appreciate it...I think I read it so much while writing I diluted it in my mind, but from your comments I managed to get across exactly what I wanted to!

  7. Absolutely beautiful, perfectly written.

  8. What a beautiful story....so whimsical and magical...Thank You for sharing :)

  9. I enjoyed this elemental battle. So tragic for the sailor to be caught up in it, but somehow I feel he'd be happy meeting his end in the arms of the ocean. :)

  10. Really lovely. Haunting is definitely the right word! Thanks for entering :)

  11. You capture the clash of the elements beautifully! Reminded me a bit of the Greek goddesses fighting over Paris' golden apple - but in this there is the humanity of a man and his life that gives it a kind of vulnerability. Lovely.

  12. I love this story! It reminds me of the traditional fables I used to read as a child. :)