Adrift Ashore

Reck Dickhard schokoladige muttermilch flickr

Photo credit: Reck Dickhard



I doubt you will ever read this, my dear, but writing keeps me sane.

My nightmares yet plague me: crashing over the falls, our fragile vessel cracking, my companions screaming. With no chance of fulfilling our mission, we seek only escape.  Ellass has taken the lead, tramping through this endless jungle, whistling the same three tunes without surcease.  It cheers the others, I believe.  I calm myself by imagining him falling from a narrow cliff path, or slipping on mossy rocks into the murky waters, or being strangled by predatory vines.

We trudge toward the coast, although each day turns us around.  I fear we have made no progress in weeks.  Ellass blames the uneven terrain, the detours, the monstrously tall trees.  But some weird magic clouds our minds and frazzles our nerves. Strange croaks and howls threaten, tease, ridicule our plight.  I long to see the open sea, free under a wide sky instead of hemmed in here.  I cast my grappling iron toward any port of safety, any thought that will keep my rudder steady, but it lands dry, catching on no pebble of hope.

I pray nobody followed us.  I pray you are well.  Remember me fondly.



Word count: 200.  Written for this week’s Sunday Photo Fiction challenge. Thanks as always to Al Forbes for hosting, and for providing the original photo prompt, below.  Click here to see the other stories based on this prompt.

SPF 167-08-august-7th-2016

Photo copy Al Forbes / A Mixed Bag



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12 thoughts on “Adrift Ashore

    • Thank you for the kind comment. I was hoping it would sound a little more Poe / Lovecraft, but I didn’t have much space to do more than hint about the weird horrors of the jungle.

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    • Thanks, I’m so glad to hear that came across. Yes, I was picturing what it would be like for sailors, used to being on the open sea, or at least the relative freedom of a river, to be trudging through pathless forests and jungles, surrounded on all sides. Plus since this is Eneana, he very well could be right that they are being thwarted by some evil magic!

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  1. I really like the first person voice in this narrative. You’ve managed to capture his feelings and fears in language that fits so well. I also love the way you’ve woven the grappling hook into the story. The last sentence is very poignant, although there may yet be a glimmer of hope.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Millie, glad you enjoyed it! I do enjoy imagining how the sayings that people in various groups would use can be tied back to their everyday lives and culture. Here, that a seafaring people would use a metaphor about casting a grappling hook to mean searching for solid answers or for hope.

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