The Riptide – Flash Fiction


Devin loved swimming. A powerful attraction drew her to the ocean which she couldn’t resist. The sea had become her companion and like a jealous lover demanded all her time.

The riptide struck and sucked her into the depths. The waves rolling above pulled one way, while the rip current below, pulled her in the opposite direction. Devin kicked hard, finally breaking free.

This had been her longest swim. Now, she knew for a fact, the experimental drugs had caused her lungs to grow. She could spend hours underwater without added oxygen. Her fate as a mermaid was sealed.


Image credit: Pixabay.com

I’ve written this piece of flash fiction for the writing challenge at Carrotranch.com. Here is the September 14, 2017, prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a riptide. How can it be used to move a story? It could be a stretch of turbulent water or a pull of another kind. Go where the prompt leads even if you find it unexpected.

Respond by September 19, 2017, to be included in the compilation (published September 20). Rules are here. All writers are welcome!

Thanks for stopping by! <3


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About Colleen Chesebro: WordCraftPoetry

Colleen M. Chesebro is a Michigan Poet who loves crafting syllabic poetry, flash fiction, and creative fiction and nonfiction. Colleen sponsors a weekly syllabic poetry challenge, called #TankaTuesday, on wordcraftpoetry.com where participants learn how to write traditional and current forms of syllabic poetry. A published author, Colleen is also an editor of “Word Weaving, a Word Craft Journal of Syllabic Verse, also found on wordcraftpoetry.com. Colleen’s mission is to bring the craft of writing syllabic poetry to anyone who thinks they can’t be a poet. Recently, she created the Double Ennead, a 99-syllable poetry form for the Carrot Ranch literary community at carrotranch.com. Colleen’s poetry has appeared in various anthologies and journals including “Hedgerow-a journal of small poems,” and “Poetry Treasures1 & 2” a collection of poetry from the poet/author guests of Robbie Cheadle on the “Treasuring Poetry” blog series on “Writing to be Read." Colleen published “Word Craft: Prose & Poetry, The Art of Crafting Syllabic Poetry,” which illustrates how to write various syllabic poetry forms used in her Tanka Tuesday challenges; and a collection of poetry, flash fiction, and short stories called, “Fairies, Myths & Magic: A Summer Celebration,” dedicated to the Summer Solstice. She contributed a short story called “The Changeling,” in the “Ghostly Rites Anthology 2020,” published by Plaisted Publishing House. Find Colleen at Word Craft: Prose & Poetry at wordcraftpoetry.com.
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64 Comments

  1. Love this! So concise, yet telling a complete story 🙂

  2. I love this, Colleen. It gave me goosebumps. <3 Do I see mermaids in your future author-pate as well as fairies? Hugs on the wing!

    • LOL! This was my first try at flash fiction. Actually, I’m writing a book with Wendy Anne Darling – short stories and poetry called: Fairies, Myths, and Magic. I have all kinds of magical things up my sleeve. I’m glad you liked it. Hugs on the wing. <3

  3. Fabulous story, Colleen – so much told in so few words.

  4. Great story.

  5. You edit down quite well, Colleen…this was a great story. And once again, left me longing for the ocean. I need to get to the shore !

  6. Wow this is terrific Colleen, great piece if flash. 🙂

  7. Excellent response to this word Colleen….enjoyed your take on it.

  8. absolutely beautiful 💜

  9. Drew me in… held me there. Keep it coming!

  10. You definitely have a way with words, I wanted to be in that water !

  11. Wow, what a great idea to turn into a mermaid… and not the other way around!

  12. Great job, Colleen–especially for you first try at flash fiction!

    Lots of riptides about now–maybe mermaids, too. 😉

  13. Well done, Colleen, I love how you turned Devin into a mermaid 🙂

  14. Fantastic and Fantastical!

  15. Beautiful nugget of a story, Colleen.

    • Thanks, Viva. I had to write it at a normal length first and then go back and edit it down to the 99 words. It was a fun challenge to see if I could get my point across and still have a story! 😀 Thanks for reading. <3

  16. Love this Didn’t see that end coming! Great twist!

  17. Pingback: Writing Links…9/18/17 – Where Genres Collide

  18. Love this, Colleen. xxx

  19. I’m pleased you joined in Colleen. Oh, for life as a mermaid. We’d be all at sea.

  20. I love this, Colleen. A great ending.

  21. Wow! I loved this, Colleen. The ending caught me off guard. Love and hugs.

  22. Lovely twist!

  23. Great read! Thanks for sharing!

  24. Great story and wow on the challenge of exactly 99 words.

    /thumbs up

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