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3rd May
2012
posted by amber

Edvard Munch

On the dock, he was suddenly overcome with the horror of life itself. The seagulls, squabbling for fish offal, squawked harshly and to him epitomized an endless vicious struggle for survival.

Where once he had found the fisherman patient and reassuring in their timeless quest for a bite, now he saw their subterranean anxiety, their sidelong competitive glances, their exhaustion. The comical pelican was no longer the debonair gentleman in a shabby suit, sidling up to the successful fish-cleaners, pretending not to be greedy. Now his rapacious nature was revealed in his compulsive swallowing, his desperate dance.

And the waves. How could he have ever found them soothing? They passed across the surface of the sea like enormous shudders, trying to dislodge any boat or bird or even dock that stood in their way. Again and again and again they leaned against the wooden pillars, already weakened by long immersion and encrustations of barnacles, making the dock shake. Boom boom came the hollow sound of the unstoppable assault.

A reek of death floated up from the high tide line, mingling with the bright stink of fish guts and the penetrating odor of boat fuel.

His death was imminent, he knew. The large wave from his recurring dream was on the horizon.

He turned back toward the land, nearly paralysed with fear, his face contorted into an unheard rictus of a scream.

StoryADay’s hint today was to use Wickipedia’s news, in which I found a piece about the record price for The Scream at auction.

1 Comment

  1. 03/05/2012

    That is excellent! I spent an hour last night and too much time today trying to start my story using the same prompt and I simply can’t tease out a story using The Scream. Part of my problem, I think, is that I’ve committed to making all of my stories have some relationship to Cuba… but honestly, that should be an easy connection! The technical writer in me just wants to keep researching before I write a story.

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