Flash Friday – An Early Loss – 350 words – PG – Suspense

This is a special week for Flash Friday.  This is a one-year blogaversary for Rebekah Postupak.  Read all about it on the site.

After reading my entry below (based on the photo prompt and must be exactly 350 words) click > HERE < for the rest.  Enjoy!!!

Dragon of Halong Bay (Vietnam). Photo by LoggaWiggler.

I am not loving the entry I made for this contest.  However, I will say this.  The stroke does funny things with my memory and I forgot that this entire week was to be devoted to the contest.  I have had it in my subconscious, but didn’t actually do anything until I remembered tonight at 11:31pm!  Deadline is, of course, midnight.  So, while it is not my best, it does work with the prompt and is exactly 350 words and was done in 19 minutes.  That is a very small source of pride to me.  Please honestly let me know how I did.   Scott

An Early Loss
By Scott L Vannatter
350 Words @SVBookman

The boat pulled to the left, then to the right, fighting the current until the oarsmen got it back under control. The twelve men showed their sinews and muscles as they flexed again and again to pull the long oars. Two men to each oar with three on a side managed to move the boat at a fair pace. These were not slaves as was usual for the Viking longboats. These men were warriors taking turns working the craft so as to hold as many fighters in the boat as possible.

There were forty men above board and all were a bit restless. The sergeant or commander at arms stood sternly at the very front of the vehicle staring into the light morning fog as they approached the island. He knew more than most what type of enemy they would face today. The natives to this area were vicious brutes who would not think twice about eating any man they captured. Of all the ways to die, he did not relish the idea of that one.

He called down to the men, asking for volunteers to take a scouting boat to shore. Six men jumped up and he chose four. He had his brother lead, knowing he had good sense and bravery to match.
The small force took to the boat and it disappeared into the fog. The sergeant watched for a signal and smiled as a lit arrow sailed well over their heads. They had made it safely ashore. Now came the waiting.

It seemed days, though it was only hours before the group returned. The sergeant’s brother informed him that the area had been recently cleared of people. He said all evidence stated that they had simply run away.

The long boat landed about twenty minutes later and the entire group followed the sergeant into the last vestiges of the mist. He led them confidently, though inside his head he doubted what they would find.

He signaled for them to return to the ship. As they turned, the war cries came from three directions and a massacre ensued.




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  • Becki Duckworth  On December 18, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    For 19 minutes Scott ?? Wow , I have no imagination at all. I couldn’t think up this story in 19 years. You are so creative. Even if its not your best as jmmcdowell said, For a person such as myself without a creative imagination I like it. Glad it was only 350 words because I would of had to stop at massacre.


    • kindredspirit23  On December 18, 2013 at 10:46 pm

      Thanks, Becki.
      I enjoy writing these short ones (though 350 was a bit long). I have always been able to write under a time crunch. As stated, perhaps not classic literature, but that which met the goals. Most of those time-crunch ones were essays in college.


  • jmmcdowell  On December 8, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    Well, for 19 minutes and a forced word count, you did one heck of a good job! Is this one of your best works? I have to say no. But I think you know that. And you also should know that you have a very good idea here, there’s a lot you could do with more time and words.

    I admire writers like you who can take on these challenges and create some very good stories under strict restrictions. That’s not something I could do unless I had days I could devote to nothing but writing! And I don’t ever see that happening. 🙂


    • kindredspirit23  On December 8, 2013 at 5:40 pm

      I do feel good about what I can do under pressure. It all came from putting off school papers until the midnight hour, I believe.
      As I have said, too, my attention span falters after a short time, so I don’t get long when I do get time to write.
      I admire writers like you who can devote so much time to writing and do so well. Your character development in the novel I read for you was fascinating and I try to learn from you and others how to do that as well.


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