On the 3rd of March, with a headache suspiciously starting to feel like a migraine, I quickly got the prompt for that day’s Microcosms Fiction. The title is a bit of wishful thinking…
In terms of deaths per passenger mile, airplanes are statistically the safest mode of transport. But an airplane crashed, with loss of life, on this date (4th February) in 1953, 1972 and 1974.
Not wishing to tempt fate, let’s take a trip by a different form of transport today.
Our contest this week begins with THREE things: character, transport and genre.
We spun, and our three elements are – character: Business Person, transport: Car, and genre: Crime
The lyrics that got stuck in my head “leaving on a jet plane, don’t know if I’ll be back again” (or something like that) was very distracting. And the elements they gave didn’t inspire. So I pressed the spin button and got:
Bank Robber/ Ship/ SFF
So here’s my response to the prompt.
By Ronel Janse van Vuuren
The sound of someone sucking the last milkshake out a glass through a straw played on repeat. Diggle knew that it was just whatever sea creatures happen to be in the umber waters they were travelling over tasting the hull. Still, it grated on his nerves. It didn’t help either that he was suffering a full-blown migraine.
Pulling the black balaclava over his tender scalp, he then checked his gear. He’d been observing the ship and the security for the last week and knew that just before the dinner hour was the perfect time to rob the on-board bank.
Though it would’ve made more sense to wait until this newest migraine had passed, he couldn’t. The Ring were very clear on his instructions: the vault had to be empty before they reached cerulean waters. Which would be the next afternoon.
Diggle swallowed as another wave of nausea hit him. He’d already drunk all the necessary meds to get him through this, he just had to warrior up.
He smirked at his own thoughts. Warrior up indeed. It’s been years since he’d left that life behind to use his skills to provide for his family properly. Even if he never saw them. Even if they thought he was the scum of the Nine Worlds.
Sighing softly, he lifted himself up into the ventilation shaft above his closet. He wiggled through, ignoring the claustrophobia brought on by his migraine. He had a job to do.
An hour later he knocked back shots of alcohol the same colour as the sea they were traversing. People were rushing around, whispering about the theft, worrying about how it had been done without anyone noticing.
Diggle ordered a burger in celebration: once more, despite his so-called disability, he’d pulled off a job seamlessly.
Yeah, if things that gave temporary relief could only cure… The first line (also the judge’s favourite line: The sound of someone sucking the last milkshake out a glass through a straw played on repeat.) came from the very distracting sound the swimming pool makes when the water level isn’t perfect. Imagine having to listen to that over and over again while your head is pounding…
What do you think of this story? Is there anything you’d change or add? Do you like the colour of the sea in this story? Do you have a cure for migraines you’re hiding from the rest of the world?