The Gull – Unicorn Challenge

Copyright Ayr/Gray

The Unicorn Challenge.

A magical new weekly writing opportunity from her – Jenne Gray – and me.
Visit her blog every Friday to see the photo prompt, and post your amazing story in her comments section.
Or on your own blog, and stick the link down in her comments.
The rules are:
Maximum of 250 words.
Based on photo prompt.
That’s it.

To hear me read my story, just click here:

The Gull

The gull floats on a thermal, always scanning the sea loch far below.
When she sees a disturbance, she swoops to feed…

Calum is not happy.
Up at the crack of dawn, he’s still on his boat at twilight, almost 20 hours later.
This far north, in June, the nights are short, and he needs sleep.
But fishing is a brutally hard way to earn a living in this post-Brexit nightmare, and his family needs to eat, so he earns extra cash whenever and however possible.
Tax-free, of course, a thick envelope that means no questions asked, nothing seen, nothing said.
He doesn’t know what he’ll pick up, and he doesn’t much care.
Drugs, guns, people, they’d get here anyway, so he might as well reap the benefit.
But his paymasters are dangerous people, from somewhere far away, and he does worry sometimes.
Tonight he went past the Outer Hebrides into the North Atlantic to meet another boat, and his cargo is human.
As they slip quietly into Loch Portree and approach the silent harbour, a scuffle breaks out and a girl, barely in her teens, escapes her captors.
As she runs towards Calum, a hand grabs her, swings her round and clubs her to the deck.
The skipper instinctively leaps forward, thrusting the assailant aside.
A shot rings out, and Calum is tossed overboard.

The gull floats on a thermal, always scanning the sea loch far below.
When she sees the disturbance, she swoops to feed…

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22 Responses to The Gull – Unicorn Challenge

  1. Pingback: Meeting in the Mist – Tales from Glasgow

  2. clark says:

    Excellent action (engaging yet leaving the scene-setting undiminished)… and a devastating ending.
    Crimes as old as society, consequences even more so.


  3. Nailed the daily life of the impoverished in all senses of the word and flows masterfully. Well done.


  4. Liz H says:

    Wow! Chilling from beginning to end, bookended by the same two sentences, and filled between by bitter reflection of desperate times. Transformed those sentences from one meaning to another.


  5. Wow, poor Calum… But sort of deserved? The shades of morality described here are shockingly deep for such a short story.


  6. Absolutely superb! Your skillful writing is always such a pleasure.


  7. Welcome back! You and your brilliant ink have been missed.
    I love an unexpected turn at the end and this one was very dark, very foreboding and very good!
    Bravo, CE!


  8. Chris Hall says:

    Devastated and brilliant!


  9. Pingback: Homecoming – Tales from Glasgow

  10. Tom says:

    Quite the dramatic turn of events, CE. Proof that still waters do run deep! Quite a harrowing account of what actually goes on in the world.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. jenne49 says:

    I’m in awe of your imagination!
    An action-packed story framed most effectively by the same two sentences – life runs its course regardless.
    And you even find space to incude a biting political comment.

    Liked by 1 person

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