Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Two In A Row

By Michael Seese

First the commercial:

I recently published a long short story, Rebecca's Fall From... to Amazon. Tomorrow (Wednesday) it is free. (Otherwise, it's $0.99.) If you've got a few minutes, PLEASE download a copy. Truthfully, I would love to hear your feedback.

Why is it free on Wednesday, you ask? 

Because I am celebrating TWO WINS IN A ROW!

I didn't get a chance to post my latest Flash! Friday entry on Friday or Saturday, because we took our trip to the Century Inn for the music party. (Loads of fun.) By the time we returned on Sunday, I learned my short story, "Alone" had won. I am only the second two-in-a-row winner.

This is the photo we worked from:

Here is "Alone."

They’re all dead. And it’s my responsibility. Mine alone. I am the Captain, after all.

The scalding sands -- and the memory -- may well have been the fires of Hell. With no clouds above, the sun is a relentless, yet honest, adversary. I wondered if I had erred. Should I have done otherwise?

When setting sail, some of the more superstitious men voiced concerns.

“Trafficking is wrong.”

“They’re just children.”

“Using them like that is against the laws of man. And God.”

But lucre has a way of muting morality.

As the storm turned their ship into kindling and their bodies into chum, the crew looked to me for guidance. They prayed I would help. I turned a blind eye. Indeed, not only did I ignore their pleas, I doubled my vengeance. Because they were right. Their actions were against the laws of man.

And God.

Such is the burden I bear as the Captain of all men.

And here are the comments of judge Aria Glazki.

Where do I even start with this story? It stayed with me as I read the others, which may say it all. “Lucre has a way of muting morality” is a very strong center for this piece — that awareness of man’s fallibility, while also a distance from understanding that draw of riches, highlighting the difference between man and God, in a story that on the surface only likens the two.

The initial misdirect of the Captain’s involvement that makes such perfect sense in retrospect; the repetition of the line “against the laws of man. And God,” coming first from the doubt of those involved in a heinous choice, and second from the weary resignation of the one charged with being the “Captain of all men”; the chilling and poignant message of the burden inherent in being God; the pain and the solitude of being the one responsible… Overall, there’s just so much in these few words.

Was the Captain arrogant in creating man? Were the men arrogant in praying to the Captain while knowing they broke those aforementioned laws? Is the very expectation of them being good, and the vengeance that follows when they’re not, also arrogant? An answer isn’t simple in this incredibly complex, thought-provoking story.


My interview will be posted here tomorrow.

And as always, feel free to share your thoughts on "Alone."


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