Written for Sunday Photo Fiction. A story, about paying an unusual gambling debt, begins after the photo.
Genre: Science Fiction/Humor
As the two men arrived at the edge of the abandoned dock, a fog rolled in, obscuring their activities. On the cracking cement stood a table with a chess set and only one chair. The game had begun and was already lost. For the moment, Grimes ignored the curious arrangement. He chuckled, “I knew there’s coppers on the take, but I never expected it’d be you, Cumberland.” His gold tooth shined faintly beneath his hood.
Detective Cumberland scowled and buttoned up his great coat. “Not that I approve of you lot, mind you.”
“I don’t give a fig,” said Grimes. “Still, I’m curious. Why the change of heart?”
Cumberland shrugged and lit a cigarette. “I have to pay off a gambling debt.”
“Aha! You have vices after all. After all these years of chasing me, I thought you were lilly white.” Grimes pointed at the chess set. “You play?”
“Not well enough, apparently.”
“Bugger me! You are full of surprises.”
Cumberland took a long drag. “That’s not the best one.” Grimes never got a chance to respond. A massive tentacle shot out of the water and wrapped around his head. In moments, the sound of collapsing bone was smothered by chilly fog. The tentacle dragged the limp body into the sea.
Calmly, Cumberland sat at the single chair and finished his cigarette. He stubbed it out and placed the chess pieces in their starting positions. As he worked, four giant tentacles emerged from the water. They moved in complex patterns.
Cumberland used sign language to answer. “You are getting better at this. Another game?”
The tentacles moved rapidly.
He signed again. “Same stakes as last time. If I win, I get a whole tuna. You win, you get more of the same.”
The tentacles whipped.
“Oh, I’m not worried about losing. There’s plenty more of them to be found!”
Each week, Alastair Forbes presents an original photo as a writing prompt. All are welcome to join this literary fest of fun! This week’s prompt may be found here: http://sundayphotofictioner.wordpress.com/2014/03/23/sunday-photo-fiction-march-23rd-2014/