Patrick Andrews 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:
by Patrick Andrews
There is no denying that it was a freak accident, but still, how in the world could one little Hermit Crab do so much damage? Brian would spend many hours trying to calculate the odds of the mishap that forever changed his life.
He was swimming too close to the coral reef. From out of nowhere, a Barracuda went speeding by his face, missing it only by inches. He was caught off guard, and backed suddenly into a sharp piece of coral. The fear in his heart, and the pain in his dorsal fin caused him to perform a procedure known to whales as an ” EMERGENCY BLOW”. Brian was speeding to the surface when he collided with the crab.
The crab escaped, but the conch shell that he had been renting was wedged very near the top of Brian’s blow hole. Luckily, air could still pass through the shell, but unfortunately, the sound that Brian made every time he surfaced was a horrendous bellow that sounded like an air raid siren, being run over by a freight train.
Brian could no longer hunt with the pod. The seals could hear them coming from miles away. No female Orca would have anything to do with him because every time he had to breathe, he would cut loose with that foghorn, and before he could submerge again, the female was long gone.
The code of the pod was rigid; Brian would spend the rest of his life alone.