The Plagued Parent

posts about surviving our children, the Baby Boomers who raised us, and everyone else with an opinion...

Lion Fish Vacuum

Robert follows the Lion Fish deeper into the reef, spear ready.  An invasive species in the Keys, these are legal prey.

Within reach something yanks from behind, tugging; the mask falls from his face. Oxygen evaporates gulping water gasping.

He jolts awake. He’s never been diving in his life. He’s never been anywhere. HIs legs, his arms, they do not work. This was a scene from a cooking show that flickered last night and glowed deep into the vacuum of his hospital room.

Feeding him water from a straw, the night nurse says. “Sleep tight.” He will likely not.

A 99 Word flash fiction for Carrot Ranch. This weeks prompt was: Dreams

Updated: June 26, 2017 — 6:33 pm


  1. Good one! Interesting looking fish.

    1. It’s really ugly but supposedly it tastes great. I really did see cooking show where they speared, filleted, grilled, then ate it.

  2. Likely not, indeed! Wondered where this would go.

    1. There you have it. Thanks Carol.

  3. Great response to the challenge. It’s hard sitting to a set word limit but you’ve done this really well.

    1. Thanks for that. Sometimes I find the word limits help. Go figure.

  4. I know I can be direct, but I’m not sure I could create a story in less than 100 words!! This was fabulous!!

    1. Sure you could, Jodie. And thank you for the compliment.

  5. This is really good. And sad. Being limited by your body in life, but in your dreams able to move.

  6. What a striking looking fish!! Liked the “story” too! 😊

  7. And now I likely won’t sleep well either! Yikes! 😉

    1. Sorry for that… Well, maybe not… that is the power of words after all…

  8. Did not know they were edible…! Brilliant flash, though and great use of weaving realism and a terrifying paralyzed medical state.

    1. Chef Gordon Ramsey seems to think so. Thanks for the kind words Charli as well as the prompts you offer us.

  9. It’s funny that you mentioned the night nurse at the end. This story reminds me of when I was a night nurse and I had an elderly man who would have the most awful, vivid dreams that he couldn’t shake and he would buzz the heck out of his call light until a nurse would come in and he could tell us all about the dream. He would often be up for hours.

    1. As badly as I feel for the old man and his dreams, that seems fascinating to me. I’d love to hear those stories. Thank you Mandi.

  10. I love all your short fiction.

  11. Now this was a really cool play on the prompt. Loved it!

  12. Flash fiction is disturbing! Leaves so many unanswered questions, LOL! I was transported for a moment though to an underwater world I probably won’t witness in person!

    1. Glad you enjoyed it Sharon, thanks.

  13. Perfectly captured the unnerving nature of dreams.

    1. Thank you, I had fun writing this one.

  14. So many emotions reading through so few words…beautiful!

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