The Rowers – Flash Fiction on the open sea
Just shortened and re-wrote this very short story, ending with a question for the reader.
To read it with the originally intendend font, just click here.
Otherwise, here it is below:
Three people in a sinking boat, all without lifejackets.
They’re out in the open sea, in water filled with sharks.
They know it’s unlikely that a rescue search will find them before they’re dead; they’ve not been out for long, and once people start missing them the boat will’ve already sunk.
The first person in the boat says, “We’re going to die.”
The second person says, “I don’t know. Maybe we can make it?”
The third person says, “We’re going to make it.”
“There’s no chance in hell we’ll make it,” says the first person.
“You’re wrong,” says the third person, “I can see land from here.”
“That’s miles and miles away,” says the first person, “maybe hundred miles away. We can’t row over there–and the boat’s sinking too fast!”
“Are you sure?” says the second person. “I mean, we have oars, right? I know, the boat’s sinking, and, and if we sink we’ll probably drown, or, or be eaten by sharks… But maybe… we should try?”
They talk, they argue, they fight.
Eventually, the second and the third person grab each an oar and start rowing, just rowing towards the horizon where land’s barely visible, not knowing if they’ll make it.
Indeed, this might have a rather grim outcome. But there’s also a chance of survival.
The second and the third person have something in common, something the first person does not have at this time.
This something is hope.
Which person are you?
Which person do you want to be?