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