Rough Drift

"Small" writing challenges for my small writing talent. Hotel note pads are the only space allowed. Let's see if I can strip it down and tighten it up to learn something. Improving my skill of weird fiction.

15.) Part 1/3: The Fortunate Leftovers (Rory’s cubes tale)


This is part-1. Find Part-2 and Part-3 here.


A three-quarter moonlit night illuminated a darkly dressed man hanging five feet above the lagoon by a rope. The end tied to the top of a rocky face jutting out over the water, he checked his watch. Almost to the second, the water beneath him bubbled and quietly hissed as a metal surface rose to meet his feet. He let go of the rope and turned around to meet a smiling face inside an open deck hatch, “How vas it, Lionel?”

“I got it Fitz. I got it easy too.”

The submarine electrically moved underwater to the south. They always planned this. Once out of visual range of the shore, or a port, or other ships they would surface and diesel away by another direction. The only people who knew their next destination were those on board, or a military type trying to find them. The world navies are being decommissioned and downsized, and besides, who is interested in an early thirties surplus Soviet-Chinese submarine? Anybody can get a surplus submarine with some profiteering funds and have it scrapped to order by a card game and a great old bottle of Rum. A Malyutka class, the Mei Nü, was Fitz’s pride and joy after scuttling his U-boat off the Argentinean coast-drowning everyone on board. He will be the first to say they were the rotten of the rotten in there.

Six-hours later, Fitz surfaced the boat. The diesel started up and the ventilation contraption breathed outside air. Film developing could begin by the engine room. Why take things when a 35mm Minox will get the image required, and do it hassle free? 3200 speed film can detail about anything, especially an old map under match-light. There it was. Exposed properly, they could now match up two previously printed images with the newest, a national relic from the island nation they just left. Their church would have noticed it missing from their secret crypt.

Spain and the Caribbean islands held two maps and an unknown pirate’s true memoir-the impetus and drive for this lunacy. The third map would put the puzzle pieces together. What else would a bunch of post-war leftovers do without a future? The minimal crew stood around the mess table, listening to Lionel read the memoir in his best pirate-English accent. MI-5 loved him for that talent-nobody could determine where he was really from. They decoded the riddles, fit map points together and collectively, over the next day, built a one and true map to the real treasure that left no doubts.

It was probably the first multi-national effort to get anything done since the war ended. A German captain and mixed crew, plus the principal glue of Lionel and the best of the rest they could find. These men wanted life with more than war’s leftovers. Good men that appreciated respect and the fortune of personal adventure would soon find more in their future than they imagined.

Fitz left the table, “I’ll set course, gentlemen.”

Continued in Part-2

(Author’s Notes) September 6th, 2015: Austin, TX. (460+ words)

I picked up these two bags of idea fuel a year ago. Holding nine pictogram dice each, the orange bag being the original, the green-voyages. They already sound fun. Roll yourself a story. My six-year-old girl likes them.

As you can see in the previous post, I rolled the voyages bag, as I am starting a 4-day trip flying over twenty-hours in that time up front in row-zero, seat-A. I figured that would be appropriate. The dice have come up with the following for this story: Hatchet, camera, stairs down to the unknown, map, chalice, puzzle piece, submarine, dinosaur fossil skull and an octopus. Already this looks like an amazing adventure! So, I plug in my headphones, stream music from a new-to-me band, Protomartyr, and fire up the interpretative mind!

I found out right away how big and in depth this story is getting. The difficult part is to make a story using all nine dice, and be a flash fiction piece could be boring. Literally there would be fifty words just to tell my readers what they show on the face. to develop a story around them would take more. So, this story has exploded. It’s got fuel to it. The setting and background of the main characters is filling up so much space that I might have to begin a serialization of this crew. Everything seems to fit too well and, especially the submarine, seems possible. That can always lead to a fun historical fiction set in 1948. As a result, this has to become a three-parter due to there being 9 cubes of story ideas and the ideas that pop from them. Look for parts 2 and possibly 3 tomorrow, where they actually go out and get what’s on the map.

I will comment on the fact it’s taking THREE hotel note pads for one story-against my own rules.


6 comments on “15.) Part 1/3: The Fortunate Leftovers (Rory’s cubes tale)

  1. Pingback: 16.) Part 2/3: The Fortunate Leftovers (Rory’s cubes tale) | Rough Drift

  2. Pingback: 17.) Part 3/3: The Fortunate Leftovers (Rory’s Cubes tale) | Rough Drift

  3. Pingback: Project: This week-A story from Rory’s Story Cubes. | Rough Drift

  4. Pingback: (Review) Rory’s story cubes: Action | Rough Drift

  5. Pingback: Hiatus has arrived; expect blog delays. | Rough Drift

  6. Pingback: 92.) On the beach | Rough Drift

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This entry was posted on September 7, 2015 by in fiction, historical fiction, post-war and tagged , , , , , , .
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