The Wrong Decision – Mutant 750

The Wrong Decision

Simone had begun to rue the day she met Sheldon. Oh, he possessed the physicality she desired. As he rowed the boat down a tributary of the Mississippi River, his pectoral muscles rippled most divinely. Despite that unruly beard she fancied his gentle and open face.

Unfortunately, a thorough checking proved he owned not a single hectare of land. He owned no business that anyone knew of, and apparently he received no known endowments from a wealthy family. He was a charming and fit vagabond, but a landless one, and that would never do!

Luckily, his tales of travel and adventure were impressive enough to keep her interest. Though how he expected her to endure such similar travails along with him, she couldn’t imagine. Her role would be to raise children (by properly guiding the servants of course), but how would that be possible without a sufficient monetary stipend?

She hoped this one last boat ride might prove his worth, but he’d grown quiet as he struggled mightily with the boat’s oars. Without his exciting tales, Simone had grown bored and impatient. Clearly, pursuing a boat ride with him was the wrong decision. “Are you experiencing a difficulty, Mr. Cotsworth?” she inquired.

“A slight one, my dear Simone,” said Sheldon. “Apparently seven alligators have fastened their toothy jaws upon the boat. They’ll be quite unable to attack you as long as I row with vigor. You’re quite safe I assure you, but this exercise is quite strenuous.”

Simone rolled her eyes. One of Sheldon’s more annoying habits was his penchant for hyperbole. “Not one nor two, but seven alligators, Mr. Cotsworth? Perhaps the entire population Mississippi’s alligators converged upon this very spot?” she quipped.

Sheldon grinned. “I do enjoy your wit, dearest Simone. The problem shall soon be rectified when we arrive at my ship.”

Simone groaned. Did he actually intend to continue pursuing this wild fantasy? “Would this be one that moves through water as easily as air?”

“The very same! Even unto the stars in the heavens.”

“I should think claiming to own a balloon, the greatest aerial invention of man, would be sufficient, Mr. Cotsworth.”

“But this is 1884,” protested Sheldon. “Greater inventions since Montgolfier’s balloons have developed since then.”

“Truly? Was it in this heavenly ship where you encountered the 7,000 bird-headed warriors?”

“It was!”

“And in this ship you defeated the nine-foot tall creatures with iron hides and their space navy of four hundred vessels?”

“The very ones!”

Simone crossed her arms angrily. “Pish-posh, Mr. Cotsworth! Hyperbole owns a certain charm, but only in dribs and drabs. You’re wielding a sledgehammer and claiming it is a rapier!”

“It’s all true!” exclaimed Sheldon. “We’ve nearly arrived at my ship. I’ll show you everything I’ve described.”

Simone had had enough. “Mr. Cotsworth, I’m afraid your request for marriage has proven quite unsuitable. I’ve rather more serious proposals to entertain, you understand.” She stuck her chin out imperiously. “Take me to shore at once!”

Sheldon slumped. “Are you certain?”

“My decisions are always final, Mr. Cotsworth.”

A huge vessel suddenly breached the waters, rising up from below. It easily stretched forty feet long. Simone watched in shock and amazement at the vessel’s size, but this proved to be only the conning tower. It rose still further and the ship’s true length of four-hundred feet soon hovered, supported by heavenly forces, above the waters. Sheldon swung himself aboard the great ship with unparalleled athleticism.

A bird-headed man stepped out from a hatch and called, “All is ship-shape and ready for star travel, Cap’n!”

Simone’s mouth fell open. Her sharp tongue had placed her in trouble before, but for the same reasons she possessed equal expertise in escaping retribution. “Oh, Sheldon!” she called. “Perhaps I’ve acted hastily. Would you consider discussing your charming proposal further?” Her eyelashes fluttered invitingly.

Sheldon grinned sadly. “I’m afraid you said your decision was quite final, and I do have other rather serious opportunities to pursue. Good luck to you!” He waved and entered the ship before it streaked into the heavens.

Alone in the boat, Simone looked about for assistance. Behind her, she realized there really were seven alligators biting into the boat. Without headway to drag them behind they appeared ready to enter and attack at any moment.

“Bother!” muttered Simone. “Letting him escape was clearly the wrong decision.”
Written for Grammar Ghoul Press’ Mutant 750 writing challenge. The picture above was the media prompt. “Hyperbole” was not only the word but the literary structure to include in any story. I think I included entirely enough of hyperbole, oodles of it, boatloads! Enough to sink a battleship. 🙂 Look here to see what other folks wrote in answer to these prompts:

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.
This entry was posted in Short Fiction and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

23 Responses to The Wrong Decision – Mutant 750

  1. List of X says:

    You know what, I agree with Simone. A guy who abandons a woman alone in a boat surrounded by seven alligators, is not exactly marriage material, spaceship or no spaceship.

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      Hmm. I see your point. Thing is, good marriage material is made up of two people, not just one. She decided he wasn’t marriageable based primarily upon wealth, before he left her in the boat. Also, he did give her fair warning about the alligators. He told the truth and she refused to believe it. What other truths could he tell that she wouldn’t believe? Fact is, Simone wasn’t good marriage material.


  2. Lyn says:

    She did not deserve him. A woman only interested in a man for his money (or vice versa) is definitely one to stay away from. However, with his ship being so technologically advanced, the very least he could have done was use the anti-grav to lift the canoe out of the water and deposit it on the local rubbish tip…a fitting place for Simone I think 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      No, she didn’t. Folks who twist love into greed don’t deserve anyone. I do like your idea and dropping her off at the nearest garbage dump. That would have a certain delicious irony. Thanks so much, Lyn! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. tnkerr says:

    Way bigger than a Sturgeon Class. Slightly smaller than a Ben Franklin FBM. I may know this boat. I may know the crew.
    Great story Eric.

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      Haha! It’s big enough for one, but I’d say the crew was way before your time. I dare say you’d be familiar with the cramped conditions inside and the practice of “hot bunking.” Thanks so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. joetwo says:

    That’s the thing you always figure these things out too late

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      I know, right? She seriously got herself in deep this time. She survives, I might add. A passing boat rescues her, and then he demands an exorbitant fee to put her back on land. 😉


  5. tedstrutz says:

    I’m trying to think of the artist… I think it is a small piece of a larger canvas. Realistic dialogue capturing the time of the painting, with your usual Star Ship touch. Another notch in the belt for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      Just looked it up. This was painted by Gustave Caillebotte, a French Impressionist. At first I was thinking this was a Pre-Raphaelite (one of my favorite movements). I did try to capture the language of the time at least a little bit. Good to know that was noticed. And yeah, there’s gotta be a starship in there. 😉 Thanks so much, Ted. 🙂


  6. Hah! Reminds me of the various ideas to fit an SSN with a ‘Dean Drive’ and fly it to Mars – probably feasible except for the fact that a Dean Drive doesn’t work… And they’re too cramped. The only time I ever felt claustrophobic was aboard an ‘Oberon’ class diesel submarine – complete with a galley about the size of a broom cupboard that had to feed 60 men. I had a neighbour who served on them, who had a hilarious story about the fact that the toilet cubicle (which is just adjacent to the wardroom) was too small to manoeuvre in, meaning that anybody using it had to basically back out into the wardroom in order to re-dress, meaning everybody aboard knew what they had been doing…

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      Subs are very good templates for how to design a spaceship. Both operate in environments hostile to humans, and therefore cannot experience even the smallest breach of hull integrity. I’ve visited the Pompanito ww2 sub before. Super cramped! I don’t know how those guys lived there. Perhaps fighting spaceships in the future will be very similar.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Michael says:

    I loved your language in this; it fit the historical period perfectly. I feel sorry for Sheldon; I mean, how many 1884 proper Victorian-era ladies would believe his tales of star ships and whatnot? Is he doomed to wander the universe alone, not unlike the Doctor? Very sad.

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      Thank you! I wanted the “feel” of the Victorian era. Not to worry too much about Sheldon. He’s a strapping young lad. He just needs to trot out the spaceship from the beginning and then start talking. There’s plenty of young ladies who’d happily take his hand.

      The one who’s struggling is Simone. With all her beauty she’s not getting her way, constantly tripped up by her oft-thrusting, rapier-like tongue. Luckily, anyone who just meets her is charmed and willing to assist, so she escaped the alligators. It’s only after people get to know her that they make their own escape from her!

      Thanks so much, Michael! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Suzanne says:

    Yay! You’re back! And with a fantastic piece. I love the Jane Austen meets Jules Verne feel to this. Perhaps Simone will think twice about casting someone aside next time. Here’s hoping Sheldon finds love some day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • EagleAye says:

      Thanks Suzanne. I’ve been very busy lately. I’ve been learning to feed the baby who hates feeding from the bottle. It’s been a struggle. I’ll try to write regularly. We’ll have to see how things go while mom’s at work all day. *crossed fingers*

      Glad you enjoyed the mix of Victorian styles. I do enjoy some steampunk every now and then. It’s hard to say about Simone. She’s used to getting her way. I’m sure Sheldon’s chances are excellent. He just needs to find a nice girl who appreciates him. Thanks so much, Suzanne! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

Don't be shy. Say something!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s