Important Work – Mega Short Story

Photo by: Matthew Wright

Important Work

As the old boat plowed through the water, Bungang pointed to the leaping dolphins. “You just follow the dolphins. They know the way.”

Clive Sauerbrun scowled. “Whatever. Just lead us to the treasure.” Sauerbrun stuck a fat finger in Bungang’s face. “No treasure, no pay. You got it?”

From the back of the boat, Sandra Sauerbrun held up a tumbler glass. “Boy! Boy! My drink is empty. What am I paying you for?”

Bungang’s teen-aged son, Tulo, rushed to the galley. “Right away, Ma’am!”

When Tulo joined Bungang in the wheelhouse, he groused, “Why Poppa? Why do you tolerate this?”

Bungang told him what fathers in his family told their boys for eleven generations. “Patience. It’s Important Work we do. The world can only be fixed one person at a time.”

The cave rested beside the cove. Unless you had watched the dolphins it was invisible. About 100 yards inside they found a large mound of human skeletons just outside a small arch of stone. A faint yellow glow emanated from within. Moments after entering, Clive shrieked. “My God! I found it. Gold!”

Sandra shoved Tulo down in her haste to climb over the bones. The boy fell hard onto the stone. Soon both treasure hunters screamed elatedly. They returned carrying gold cups and strings of jewels. Then as they exited the barrier of the small cave, they aged suddenly and rapidly. Both were dead before their 120-year old bodies collapsed into the bones.

“Someday,” said Bungang. “The greedy people will all be gone, and the world will be fixed at last.” He noticed Tulo rubbed a bruised elbow. “Are you alright?”

“It is nothing, Poppa.” His eyes blazed with determination. “This is Important Work we do.”
Written for Matthew Wright’s Mega Short Story Challenge where a photo is the writing prompt for flash fiction. Join us, and write your own short story. The challenge may be found right here:

About EagleAye

I like looking at the serious subjects in the news and seeking the lighter side of the issue. I love satire and spoofs. I see the ridiculous side of things all the time, and my goal is to share that light-hearted view.
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10 Responses to Important Work – Mega Short Story

  1. Cool story! Thinking about it, it’s amazing how many people behave like the treasure hunters, in their own way.

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      It really is. I wanted to add a personal story, but got in a rush. Here it is now.

      When I was in Panama, I stood in line to a stall run by a poor Panamanian girl selling water. The wealthy tourist ahead of me complained loudly, “Why do they charge anything for the water? It’s not like they need money!” My jaw just about hit the ground. I couldn’t believe anyone could be so petty, so small-minded, so unbelievably stupid. Someone was terribly uneducated, and it wasn’t the poor Panamanian girl selling the water. That scene stuck with me, and I think it resurfaced again in the imagining of this story.

      We need to learn how to appreciate one another, no matter what country, what race, or social status someone comes from. Someday, I hope the world will get “fixed.”

      Thanks so much, Matthew! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. joetwo says:

    Why am I thinking ‘Indiana Jones’ at this scene. Good one.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Shannon says:

    I love the ‘let ’em seal their own doom’ tales. Ha, especially this one cos I felt compelled to say ‘You have chosen poorly’ at the end 😄

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lyn says:

    From the moment Sandra Sauerbrun called Tulo, boy I wanted the dolphins to turn into sharks and leap into the boat and grind her bones to make bread — okay, so maybe I’m getting my stories a bit mixed up 🙂 Show Eric a photo of a dolphin and he turns it into a story of just desserts that brings his readers great joy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      I figured that would get people’s blood going. It did to me, in my imagination as I developed the story. So yeah, she had a nasty end coming to her…even if it meant sharks grinding up her bones for bread. 😉 It’s good you found great joy. Thanks much, Lyn! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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