Stolen by the Sea

Alibaug beach Ninad Chaudhari flickr

Photo credit: Ninad Chaudhari



Every morning I watched Ajač take his father’s cart to the fields, empty.  Every night he headed back, his cart laden with gourds, the wheels and oxen’s hooves cutting deeper into the wet sand.

Last week he didn’t return.  I found the cart, half-submerged under the tide, the gourds scattered, floating.  No oxen.  No Ajač.

Some bones washed up.  Not all of them.

Ajač took the beach path to avoid the road’s dangers.  He might have fared better against human thieves.

I helped his father salvage what remained, but I won’t get that close to the water again.  Not alone.



Word count: 100.  Inspired by this week’s Friday Fictioneers photo challenge.  Thanks as always to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting!  And also to Janet Webb for this week’s photo prompt, below.  Click here to see the other stories.

FF.Janet Webb.photo-88

Photo © Janet Webb



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36 thoughts on “Stolen by the Sea

    • Thanks Sammi, glad you enjoyed it! This one was relatively easy, in that at least there are carts in Eneana, if not grocery carts. And, of course, seas and beaches. I spent far too much time looking for a photo though — I thought for sure there would be one of a primitive enough cart abandoned near a beach or lake, but nope. I couldn’t even find a color photo of any non-modern cart near water. I’m glad I was using my new technique, which is to *first* find a photo which is close enough to the challenge photo but still fits Eneana and only then write the story that fits that version.

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  1. This is a great tale, with interesting (!) characters, even if you only give us a glimpse of them. I love the photo you found, it’s beautiful and perfect for the story. And the last line is giving the sea an added feel of danger, even more than unpredictable tides can evoke. Who knows what’s waiting there, in Eneana’s oceans?

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    • Thanks Gabi! You are too kind about the characters, but I appreciate it. And yes, the last line is hinting at…. MONSTERS! Some of the legends about what monsters live in that sea are downright terrifying. Gee, I hope they’re not all true! (hehehehe)

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    • I was pretty baffled when I started writing flash fiction, but it seems easier with practice. I try to do at least two or three challenges a week, although I’ve been slacking off a bit lately (seven in the last four weeks, I just counted). It’s a fun way to give little glimpses of my world, and to be inspired to create more details for that world. Plus it feels wonderful, when I’m slogging through this never-ending novel manuscript and endless revisions, to be able to *finish* something and post it!

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    • Thanks! Yeah, not such a happy ending for poor Ajač. But that’s how it is for a lot of people in a world like this (low tech and filled with magic and monsters) — they just disappear. At least this time, his family knew he was dead.

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    • Yes, it can be a dangerous place for the unwary, and the unlucky. I’m not sure it’s any consolation, but I’m pretty sure he was killed by whatever came out of the sea before he had a chance to drown.

      Thanks for commenting, Amanda!

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    • There are at least two possibilities, but the most likely is a creature that resembles a giant anemone, with very long tentacles that resemble seaweed. Just imagine, every time you feel a bit of seaweed with your foot, it might suddenly grab you, paralyze you with its venom, and pull you down to its mouth and eat you. You might drown before you’re eaten, if that’s any consolation. (Shiver!)

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