Home to Roost [Free Short Fiction]

Today’s story is about a woman, a man, and a boat.

13 Week Streak: “I wish the timing had been better.”

Oh, and something’s in the water.

open ocean

“Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” 
― André Gide

Home to Roost

No matter how many times he apologized, she couldn’t bring herself to give him the satisfaction of acceptance. What he had done was unthinkable. Unbelievable. Unforgivable.

The waves lapped against the side of the boat like puppies’ tongues, tail-waggingly eager to get to them, and what used to give her a rush of pleasure fell flat in her chest. He had taken it all from her. Liar.

“Is the RADAR picking anything up?” the young veteran asked from the head of the boat. He had a hand on his forehead to shade his eyes, and in the light of the sun, it almost looked like he was saluting.

She shook her head, though she knew he couldn’t see her. “Nothing. The beacon must have been damaged.”

He turned back and walked to the steering wheel. Studied her, his jaw hard, his bare chest gleaming golden in the sun.

“I know you don’t approve of my work,” she started.

He barked a laugh that cut off the rest of her thought. “Don’t approve? I think it’s a disaster. I think you and your father are playing God.”

“I don’t believe in gods,” she said back, softly, almost a whisper. But he heard it, and he sneered. His disgust triggered a rage in her belly. “This is my life’s work. It’s a project he and I have been working on my whole career. This is what would have brought me recognition in the scientific community!”

His eyes squinted at the water as they started to move. His voice went flat and quiet. “This is what you want recognition for? This… monstrosity?”

“No,” she answered, eyes on the computer screen in her lap. The beacon screamed in bright green, a blip moving too fast to be any natural thing. Her father’s face came up in her mind, but she pushed it away, disgusted at him.

“Anything on the RADAR?”

She licked her lips, tasted salt and failure and revenge. “No.”

He swore, slowed down, and studied the vastness of ocean around them. “They should have called me sooner,” he said.

“I wish the timing had been better.”

His fist thumped the side of the boat just as a fin popped up in the water twenty feet or so away, slicing through the space between it and them at a speed she still found astonishing.

“It’s here,” he said in a hoarse whisper.

She watched the dot on the RADAR as it closed in on them. The project was a success.



This story was inspired by the amazing fun that is the SyFy channel and all their glorious, cheesy movies leading up to Sharknado 5. The movie I had in mind was Sharktopus, which is exactly as awesome as it sounds.


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2 responses to “Home to Roost [Free Short Fiction]”

    • I love all the “something in the water” stories. Well, most of them. I happened upon Trailer Park Sharks the other day, and wasn’t impressed, but it was more about the setup of the characters than the shark infestation. LOL


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