Journey Begun -- Flash Fiction Group for February 1, 2020
Each week, the Flash Fiction Group Facebook group issues a visual prompt for a 300-word story. This is the prompt for February 1, 2020:
Here is my story.
“Why do we need limes? They’re disgusting.” Sheila made a sour face.
“I told you, there is no ‘we’. I will need them to stave off scurvy.” Joey’s annoyance at his best friend’s sister was clear in his voice. She had been pestering him all the while he was gathering provisions. The fact that Sheila was now an orphan and homeless made no difference to him. His heart had been hardened by many such tragedies since the war began.
“Do you expect us to be at sea for weeks? If so, we’ll need a lot more food and water.” She reached for a pen and started to make a list.
“There is no ‘we’.” But his voice didn’t carry as much conviction this time. She had a point, and he had never put to sea on such a long journey before. With a flourish, Sheila handed him her list.
“I can’t afford all of this.” His voice trailed off.
She reached into her bra and pulled out a wad of bills. “This is all my parents had left.” She held it out to him. “For passage.”
Joey looked down at the cash, then back to her face. For the first time, he didn’t see his friend’s scrawny little sister. Instead, he saw the strong young woman she had become. He snatched the bills from her hand.
Later, the threat of the oncoming tempest let them steal the boat from the abandoned marina. Their crime ensured there was no turning back.
The sunrise was glorious in the wake of the storm. The once-a-century tempest had tossed them high and low throughout the night. But Joey proved his seamanship and Sheila’s prayers kept the lightning at bay. With dawn came the inevitable calm and a wondrous crimson sky.