Tuesday 29 October 2019

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 131

This week's photo prompt was taken by American photographer Phil Koch He has some incredible photographs and they are also available to buy on his site (click on his name) and you can also check out more at his page on 500px

I wanted something different, but in the end I went with an old idea I'd had years ago. 

The General Guidelines can be found here.

How to create a clickable link in Blogger comments can be found on lasts week's post here.

There is also a Facebook group for Mid-Week Flash, if you fancy getting the prompt there.

Arctic Ark

We had finally arrived at the water. It had been a hard slog across a frozen desert on snowmobiles, and then pushing them through a scrub forest, but we were here at last; there was hope.

There was still snow on the beach but it wouldn’t last long. It didn’t matter how high up we travelled, anymore there was no escaping it.  But there was still time, enough time to build a boat – at least we hoped there would be.

We’d look at the trees as we had come through the scrub. It wasn’t going to be easy, but there was enough here.

I sat on the shore looking at the view with Jake Hanson.
‘It’s red, even this far up.’

‘You knew it would be.’

‘I hoped it wouldn’t be. I’d thought we’d still have some blue sky days.’

‘I think they’re gone from the earth for now.’

Rob Peterson came over and joined us. He had an armful of driftwood with him which he arranged in a pyramid.

Hanson looked around. ‘Where are the others?’

 ‘They’re getting started on some shelters. And Amy and Marcus have gone off to mark some trees ready for felling tomorrow.’

‘Okay. I think Kani brought the tools on his sled, didn’t he?’

‘Yep.’ Rob started fanning the spark he had made.’

I stared at the little flame. ‘It’s crazy, isn’t it? It’s what’s killing us but we can’t live without it.’

‘The irony of life.’ Jake pulled me closer into him and wrapped an arm round me.

We heard barking and saw Kani coming over the ridge between forest and beach, his arms full of equipment, the huskies dancing round his legs. Hanson got up to go help him. I waited for them to arrive before receiving doggy kisses as they barrelled into me, their tails almost catching light in the beachside fire. It was one of the few pleasures left.

He looked the sky over the water. ‘Magnificent and eerie. I’ve never seen anything like it up here.’

‘No one has. When was the last time this water flowed?’ Rob pointed at the ocean in front of us.

‘I’ve never seen it flow. When it cracked open last month there was no one in the village who had ever seen it thaw. It’s crazy.’

‘I wish you’d managed to persuade them to join us, they would have been invaluable.’

Kani looked sombre. ‘Me too. But they don’t believe it is the end, they think it is a new beginning.’

I shivered. It was a new beginning of sorts; the fires would cleanse the earth. Taking to water was the only way to survive, and our little band of engineers would hopefully build something sturdy to endure and wait for them to burn out. We had all brought skills. Mine was navigation. I could get us anywhere with my eidetic memory for maps. The trick was keeping healthy and fed. If we managed that we just might make it.


  1. A creepy end of the world story, I loved it very well done.

  2. What a stunning picture this week. Here's what I did with it; presenting Marooned Skies Hope you like it.

    1. Intriguing tale. Really enjoyed the description. I need to know more.

    2. Thank you, Miranda. Skyscape was one I learned through photography. It sounds nice in this context, doesn’t it? I needed more words in this one I must admit. Glad you liked it though.

  3. Atoll, by Terry Brewer, @Stories2121, 290 words

    There’s being alone. And there is this. People talk about the “ends of the earth.” I’ve been there. Sometimes my mind sends me back there.

    It was in my first Air Force tour. Things can happen in Alaska. I don’t know if Sarah Palin could see Russia from her house, but you sit in an atoll in the Aleutians and you can smell it. Even in January. As part of hardening us up, we’d all have to spend a night on a barren one. Twenty-four hours. A chopper would drop us off, taking the guy there back. Nothing but a survival kit. The only comfort is that if the Russians attacked their nukes would go straight over my head. Of course, that’d probably take the chopper out. So there was that.

    I was just far enough south that there was a sun when I was deposited. It didn’t last long. As it set, I was stared at its descent, knowing I was embarking on twenty-three hours of darkness. Sensory deprivation.

    I did not sleep. Some, I hear, do. I did not.

    I learned a lot about myself on that piece of rock. Some good. Some bad.

    I fell asleep on the chopper ride back. When I awoke as it hit the ground at the base, the crew chief said everyone does. After being examined, the doc said I was “none the worse for wear.”

    There are those who ask me the source of my preternatural calmness. My personal moments of Zen. I tell them there’s nothing like being alone on a rock for a day to teach you how small and insignificant you are and how large and overwhelming your life is. I tell them that. No one understands though.

  4. Amazing picture and stories! Here's my entry for this week! Warden of Realms

    1. Gosh I need to know so much more. Thanks for joining.

  5. My entry for this week's Flash Fiction Challenge titled The Homecoming:

    Blogger: The Homecoming

    Patreon: The Homecoming (Has a PDF download, too!)

    Since a lot of you wrote extra long stories, I wrote a very short one so it will average out.

    1. Very much bitesized, but also complete, sad tiny tale. Thanks for joining.