Flash Fiction: Seeker (188 words)

A ship could never run silently. The crew could move at the pace of ghosts, stuff cloth scraps into every gap in the mechanics, send orders around the deck in gestures and whispers, but the timbers themselves couldn’t understand the need for the hush. They groaned. They creaked. They whined against their pegs, impatient. Overhead, the breeze caught the canvas and made it clap from time to time, as if it couldn’t contain its excitement for the game.

Standing on the deck, watching the fog drift past in steaks as she sifted through the sounds of the unseen ships to either side, Kendi let out an easy breath. She could feel a smile waiting, though it seemed ill luck to let it out too soon. It simply didn’t matter.

Any child knew that they didn’t win a game of seeker by disappearing entirely, letting the sunlight shine through you as if you weren’t there. They only had to find something large enough to fit themselves behind.

The water was loud enough around them, the breeze hummed and hissed, and the ship slid through, closer and closer, without any notice.

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