Thursday 9 January 2020

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 139

This week's prompt is from photographer/artist Warren Keelan. He's an seascape and ocean photographer, and I've admired his wave pictures for several years now - I even have a pinboard of waves where the majority are Warren's photographs. His photos are worth checking out. He calls this one: Sunrise Crest.

A delay this week as it took me a while to get the ending for this story. I could see the opening clearly enough, but now the ending. Some days it's just like that.

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.


Tomlin tilted his head back as he broke the surface of the water, making it as soundless as possible, then he exhaled sharply hoping it sounded like a whale clearing its blowhole. There was barely a ripple on the surface, the gentle wave motion dispersing any there’d been.

The sun was now above the horizon allowing more visibility, but there was nothing to see. They hadn’t broken surface ... yet.

Tomlin moved his limbs in a languid motion in rhythm with the swell of the water. He didn’t want to swim; it would wear him out, which would force him back underwater where it would be easier for them to find him.

He held still a moment and watched the orange sun to see which way the ocean would take him. Maybe he could drift for a while, float on his back, like a piece of driftwood.

They’d spent a long time searching for him; they weren’t going to give up easily. It made it difficult; he might have to head for land. He’d get landsickness. It didn’t appeal, but it might be the only way to disappear.

Sonar was a problem. It meant they could track him if they had managed to pinpoint him. They were probably watching and tracking him right now.

The thought made him nervous and he stopped floating, moving his legs under him again. Should he head for land? He wasn’t far from the underwater caves that Alana had shown him. He would be safe there. But if they were tracking him, they might follow and that would put their entire nation at risk. What to do?

Land. It was the only option. He moved onto his front and pushed himself forward just under the surface, letting the force drive him forward. He heard bubbling behind him, and flipped onto his back. He saw something surfacing and then a small periscope pop up.

Shit! They were here.

He flipped back over and kicked out his legs hard, shaking his feet until they joined together, ducking his head under and blowing out hard to open the gills on his neck. They weren’t about to let an anomaly such as him go. Hybrids might be common among the merpeople but not humans.

His body shot forward just under the surface, leaving little wake. He could hear a whoosh behind him as they pursued. He knew once he hit shallow waters he would out run them, but would they have someone ready to meet him on land? It had happened to his cousin, who’d managed to do a turn around to an old network of caverns to escape.

That sparked an idea and Tomlin veered left, heading deeper. The submarine dived after him, but hadn’t caught up – he knew it couldn’t.

The kelp fields were ahead and that would be his chance. He wasn’t stupid enough to think they couldn’t find him in them, but they didn’t know what lay under them.

He moved into an almost vertical position in the water, heading for the bottom. He glimpsed the fissure on the surface through the constant motion of the kelp. It could have been a line of stones to the untrained eye, but his cousin Linton had showed him it was just an illusion. He put out his hand as he reached the ground, his eyes still believing the illusion until he touched it, revealing the gap – a gap big enough for him but not a submarine, thankfully.

He slid inside and continued swimming vertically until the light further below began to expand. He knew that once he reached it no sonar would be able to track him. It was one of the few safe havens merpeople had from humans.

It sparkled as he drew closer, the light reflecting off the gemstone walls. He wasn’t sure of the names of all of them, but their ability to refract light meant that the tiny source from above, which travelled down a funnel to this pocket in the earth, was enhanced a thousand fold, creating an oasis of life. It teemed with species, some unknown even by the merpeople. It was so special it was deemed sacred and too delicate to risk living within, hence its availability. Tomlin would rest here before moving through. He knew it led to another network of caverns that would take him home without having to resurface.

For now he had evaded capture.  


  1. Great action story here. Feels like Something Clive Cussler would write in his magnificent stories. I love it.

    1. I've never read Clive Clussler but thank you!

  2. Presenting my attempt at this weeks prompt: Extraction by Sunrise hope you like it.

    1. Excellent piece of high speed action.

    2. It was a challenge getting all that action into the word count. The perfect challenge to begin the year. Thanks for the prompt!

  3. Thanks for the challenge, Miranda! Here is my humble attempt: The Madman of Gnoc Ker'dun

    1. This was a great story. Well done, Ashlie!

    2. Thank you, Mason and Miranda! I'm really having a great time broadening my horizons with these prompts!

  4. It seems something word wise is trying to escape. We'll see if there are more words that wish to turn up. But for now. The 2nd tiny part of something much bigger.

    Inside My Eyelids (2)

    1. Interested to see the others. This is a very visceral nightmare.