"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.
Backpacks dropped at Clive’s feet. He grabbed each and scooped big handfuls of dirty coins mixed with pieces of decaying basket and bug into each pack, chucking them outside. Done, he slipped out and they kicked the trunk away. The slab hit the earth with a deep thud felt through every foot. The creatures began to advance in larger numbers, spreading out to the sides, making guttural growls.
As the men began a fast hustle back the way they came, Vincent and Clive unslung their Remingtons taking position in back. Good time was made on the way out, having slashed the vegetation on the way in. The horde was moving faster, gaining on them. Vincent shouted, “Those Dino thing are gainin’ on us!”
Through the shallow water the jungle boots splashed and fought for speed over rocks and slippery mud. The packs weren’t full, but they felt the extra weight. At the slimy stairs, they clamored out, running towards the boat. Vincent stopped and aimed high, slam-firing the Remington at the roof of the opening. Five buckshot shells in one second, causing a partial cave-in.
“Out!” shouted Vincent, swinging the shotgun behind him. Clive instantly traded his and began to re-load. Vincent, ready for anything that poked it’s head out. Backing away slowly, they waited for the all-clear from the rest at the boat.
Lionel, Choko and the other two had their own problem. They were hacking away at tentacles wrapped around the anchor and the oars and the emergency box of rations. Stavros and Ernesto couldn’t cut everything without a risk of cutting open the boat, then they would have to swim to the submarine with backpacks of treasure in octopus infested waters and water-logged guns. Lionel picked up the anchor and threw it inside the hull. “We can beat the rest away as we paddle. Get in!”
Vincent waved away Clive, “Go! I’m right behind!”
A scaly head pushed through the fallen dirt and rocks, it’s eyes were definitely from history drawings and it was much bigger than a dog.
The prehistoric body fell in the way of the others. Vincent turned and ran to the boat having only the time it took for them to dig free of their obstacles. He splashed through the shallows and pushed himself up on the nose of the boat as it backed away under labored oar power. The men were furiously clubbing at tentacles. They had pull. Lionel heaved the emergency rations overboard. Vincent spun around, sliding his legs inside and readying the shotgun, just as a wave of his Dino-Monkeys broke free and sprinted towards them. Three more echoing blasts of buckshot later, one creature collapsed, another limped horribly. The rest, to the men’s amazement, stormed the water, feasting on the many octopus trying to open the floating box of rations. Stavros and Ernesto rowed on. Vincent slapped Clive on the back, “You know, you’re all-rite!”
Rowing slowed, “What in hell, chief?” asked Stavros.
Lionel shook his head-checked his watch. Whatever time-zone they were in, his watch said five-o’clock sharp. The water bubbled with a light hiss. Lionel directed Choko, Clive and Vincent to unload the packs and equipment through the hatch. Lionel attached a vaccuum line to deflate the boat on deck with the rest as the M-class dieseled on into a setting sun.
one hundred pounds of gold coins rattled below deck.
(Author’s Notes) September 9th, 2015: Cincinnati.
Well, I sort of blew the rules here. One story over three and a half note pad pages. Rory’s story cubes are wonderful when they trigger that big story. If I let myself go on this one I could fatten it up with all kinds of extra descriptions and action that would flesh out the characters and, I think, really show us a good story. But, that does not fit with short short story telling, nor the mission of this website. So, Did I do well with this one? Personally, I failed the blog. I failed the rules. I didn’t stick to task. Otherwise I succeeded by figuring out a good story and good direction. Nothing seemed completely imposssible except for the fun impossible. It almost went full Jules Verne on the island but I didn’t make them giant and radioactive. I discovered a unique set of characters and put them in a unique situation that has great potential for many future stories but also some existential character work. The why. The who, etc.
So, did you like it?
(image: NASA-public domain)