Monday, September 16, 2013

Bordello Challenge: One Deep Breath

Three words, one short story.

My words were Paisley, Purgatory and Captain.

Keep in mind that most of my short stories break seven thousand words.

Here ya go.

"How did we get here?" Captain Paisley looked out at the impossibly calm waters of the ocean around him and sought any sign of a break in the placid surface between the ship and the horizon. There was nothing. The wind did not move; the waters were a flat, mirrored surface.

Even using his binoculars there was no sign of anything in any direction. Looking down the glassy surface reflected back his worried face and the grey flat surface above. If it was a fog that floated above the ship it was far enough up that it allowed a perfect view of the sea in every direction.

Only moments before there had been explosions and fire and the screams of his men as the Japanese came roaring toward them in their planes. Now there was this endless, maddening silence.

No one answered him.

One glance at the ship told him why. There was no one else aboard the vessel. Nobody as far as the eye could see.

Panic clutched at his stomach and made a fist.

The captain closed his eyes and counted slowly to ten. He did not believe he was in heaven. And if this was hell it was surprisingly peaceful. Bur Purgatory? Where the dead waited for the Judgement Day...?

When he opened his eyes, he hoped the world would make sense again. He repeated his question, "How did we get here?" And once more Captain Paisely looked out at the waters and prayed for a response.


  1. Bravo! Full story and very flashy, indeed!

  2. So delightfully ominous and heartbreaking in just 250 words. Psht, who needs 7k for a short story?

    ~frets and sweats~

  3. COOL. I can just hear the voice of Rod Serling now...

  4. Nice job building tension, leaving us waiting for his ah-ha moment of discovery. Great way to use paisley by the way :)