Dale E. Lehman Wins Flash Fiction Challenge

Dale E. Lehman is the Readers’ Choice in this week’s Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction Challenge. The winning entry is decided by the popular vote and rewarded with a special feature here today. (In the case of a tie, the writer who submitted an entry first is the winner per our rules.)

Without further ado, here’s the winning story:

 

green beach vieques 1999 flash fiction prompt copyright KSBrooks
Photo copyright K. S. Brooks. Do not use without attribution.

Tranquility
by Dale E. Lehman

The woman stretched in the sand, savoring the salty air and the sun’s warm caress on her face. “Such a fine place,” she said, releasing her breath. “So tranquil.”

Her companion glowered at the sky. “Tranquil? We’re marooned!”

“Don’t think about it.” She watched the puff ball clouds drift overhead and drank in the sound of the lapping waves. They were gloriously alone here where the white sand met the blue sea, where the shore curved into the distance to meet a dark line of mountains.

“You realize we can’t go home,” he said.

She rolled onto her side and looked him over. It was a good thing they were alone. People would have stared. They were a bit too tall and lanky, a bit too pale in the face with eyes a bit too round to feel kosher. Besides, their loose coveralls could hardly be called swimwear. “It will be okay,” she purred, hoping to soothe him.

“I don’t see how. The damage is irreparable.”

“I know. Still, this isn’t a bad place to be stuck.”

He turned and gazed into her eyes. She smiled and tweaked his nose. Turning back, he sighed. “I guess not. But as much as it’s like our own planet, we don’t belong here.”

“Maybe not,” she agreed. “But we’re alive, and for now that’s enough.”

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