Donne In (112 words)
No man is an island, Donne said. Maybe. But it sure as hell sucks to be marooned on one.
One thousand four hundred and thirty seven days, I’ve watched the gulls crash into each other, fighting over the same fish, never giving quarter. One thousand four hundred and thirty seven days, I’ve thought back to that night, that splitting of fate, forking of destiny.
If only I’d gone left when you turned right. If only we’d never met, never touched, never tangled. You’d still be alive, and I wouldn’t have spent one thousand four hundred and thirty seven days ruing his temper, my passivity, and his damn boat that dropped me here.
The challenge? Take Moby Dick, and distill it down into 100 (+/- 25) words. Okay, not really – but Moby Dick was our novel prompt. A tiny tale based on a whale of story? Ayup. Captain Rebekah gave us these guidelines:
Today in a brilliant marriage of form and theme, and to the great relief of Literature students everywhere, we’re daring to condense one of the world’s densest novels into a flurry of flash (which is where many students feel it belongs anyway). That’s right: today we’re tackling Moby Dick, the blubber-infused tale of a raging, peg-legged sea captain bent on avenging himself on the white whale responsible for his injury. (Reminder: you are not required to have read this novel to write stories inspired by its elements. Second collective sigh of relief.)
Story elements (base your story on any TWO of these elements; be sure to tell us which two you chose.)
* Conflict: man v self, man v nature (not gender specific)
* Character (choose at least one): a wooden-legged sea captain, a pacifist forced to help with someone else’s revenge, an easygoing storyteller oblivious to danger, a chief’s son/prince working on a ship, a mighty whale.
* Theme (choose one): revenge, fate v free will, the power of Nature, friendship, the cost of obsession
* Setting (choose one): a whaling ship, a sea port, an island, the middle of the ocean
I went with the cost of obsession and an island. What do you think? Did I need another 100,000 words or so to flesh out my fiction?
Swim on over to Flash Friday! to read more sea-worthy selections, and perhaps contribute one of your own!