Sunday, June 04, 2006

FF #39

He said little as they paddled their way along the sunken streets. What was there to say anyway? The government-- with less foresight than a kid playing with a gun-- were already jumping on the political bandwagon with promises to bring back the displaced and build a 'safer' city. He washed that thought away as nowdays it made him sick whenever he thought about what they were doing to the country, let alone his city.

He thought about how his grandfather used to tell him stories about the last great flood and how the feeble old man had foretold of the impending disaster (now a stark reality) that would eventually befall this city.

He thought about his father who was foolish enough to build his 'dream' house here, casting aside his own fathers admonitions as "nonsense". Now they were both missing and his gut told him they were drowned under this vast lake of poisonous water which smelled with the stench of death.

His friend Kyle, paddling in the canoe beside his, broke into his reverie: "This looks like my street...I'll go West and meet you back here in a couple of hours."

"Sounds okay," James said without breaking the rhytum of his own paddling.

An arm floated by, still covered by a ripped denim sleeve (a working mans shirt, he thought) with the hand frozen into a rigor mortis claw as if the man had been desperatly trying to hang onto something.

In the distance ahead he spotted the roof of the house his father had built. It was easily recognizable as it was the only brown steel roof along the block of two-story houses. Three of the five houses were gone, blown down by the force of the hurricane winds or perhaps washed away by the brute force of the once rushing flood waters.

He paddled the canoe around the outside of the roof. Although the water was receding, it still was above the eaves of the roof. He lashed the canoe to a vent pipe, put on his scuba gear and stepped out onto the roof. Donning his mask he breathed in the clean air from the tank but his nose still muddled the air with stench. He eased himself down into the murky water and flipped on the searchlight when he went under. The strong beam only penetrated the filthy water five or six feet ahead of him. The windows had been blown out and he swam into one. It was his grandfather's bedroom as he recognized the heavy oaken bed his grandfather had purchased half a century ago. The mattress had been torn apart and he panicked, screaming into the mask, "Goddammed alligator!" Then, as he turned away from the bed, he felt massive jaws clamp down brutally on his thigh.

LOG REPORT by Coastguard Helipcopter Alpha Three: "Canoe spotted tied to roof vent on Potter Street, No sign of life. Returned for flyover two hours later but canoe still empty.

13 Comments:

Blogger Girl With An Alibi said...

Oh my gosh! That is not how I expected that to end. Gators!!!! My folks live in Florida so they see them all the time. I got chills. Thanks for the scary surprise ending. :)

10:58 AM  
Blogger Kimy said...

I loved the ending!

We have been having a lot hungry gator troubles in Florida here lately.

It really does happen.

Wonderful job!

~Calli~

11:02 AM  
Blogger Debby said...

Your's are always short, not too sweet and to the point. Love em!!

3:14 PM  
Blogger Writeprocrastinator said...

Vivid, good and depressing.

5:34 PM  
Blogger porchwise said...

jj (or whomever came up with this line) should be commended...seems to have brought out the best in all of us who participate in FFF.

6:51 PM  
Blogger C. H. Green said...

Just wanted to let you know that I finished my first draft this weekend. And I have YOU to thank. Now comes the hard part...any advice???

9:23 PM  
Blogger Übermilf said...

Great. How am I supposed to sleep now?

9:46 PM  
Blogger Blonde Vigilante said...

I really love how everyone seemed to go somewhere different with this line.

6:32 AM  
Blogger sweet trini said...

damn! you fucked me up with the surprise alligator attack! i like it.
walk good.

7:33 AM  
Blogger angel said...

Nicely spooky dude…

1:08 PM  
Blogger gizmorox said...

Nicely done. The imagery is beautiful in a dark and scary way.

6:51 AM  
Blogger justacoolcat said...

Alligator bait indeed. Good one.

3:59 PM  
Blogger porchwise said...

c.h.: The only advice I have is rewrite, rewrite, rewrite until you're satisfied you've writen a book you like, then hang in there through the agent (if you can land one) or publisher's critisims and send it out again, and again, and again. 'Gone With the Wind' was rejected 120 times until someone saw the value in it.

...oh yeah, don't let your friends read it...

7:55 PM  

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