Microfiction: Dark dawn

Since a few people asked for a sequel to the story I wrote for Sonya’s latest three line tales, I’ve used Sue Vincent’s photo for this week’s #writephoto prompt and done it. The first part is here.


Dawn is breaking and I don’t want to see what it will bring. The hammering of the waves has drowned the screams of the dying, and I dread the light that will show what is waiting for us, the handful of survivors huddled in the cave beneath the sea wall. Smugglers must have used it once, but since the things came out of the sea, no vessels have dared brave what lies beyond the harbour wall. Dawn, purple and red fills the sky, red the waves that lap the black rocks. Red the flames that leap from the city, reflected in the yellow reptilian eyes that stare into ours.

We shrink back into the darkness. A woman pushes her child into the narrow black hole that the cave dwindles to, and follows after. She gets stuck. Two men try to pull her out. She struggles, screaming. The great heads with their yellow, malevolent eyes lunge. I am mesmerized, caught in their glare, until they blot out the light of the rising sun and I plunge, diving past the stink of ancient oceans, the grey green barnacle encrusted scales, into the churning water, and I swim, leaving the trap behind me.

I swim, buffeted by mountains of flesh, until my lungs are bursting and my vision is as red as the water, and when I break surface again, the whole world is red. Flames consume the city, blood stains the water of the harbour, and all I can do is swim into the face of the sun until weariness drags me into the arms of oblivion.


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

17 thoughts on “Microfiction: Dark dawn”

  1. Wow, that’s marvellous! Love your use of colour, Jane – a wolrd turned read. And the description of the creatures, the grey green barnacle encrusted scales – love it. A sad and fitting sequel

  2. Wow — again the visceral images and breath-grabbing descriptions. An end or a beginning?
    I agree — time to please, please move on from vampires and zombies. (Not you, specifically, just the tv/book/movie/social media world.) Sea monsters seem reasonable as a follow-up. Get into the niche now. Dragons aren’t half bad, and haven’t been over done of late.

    1. Dragons I suppose are sea monsters with wings. Same parentage anyway πŸ™‚ I must admit vampires have never done it for me, and zombies are not interesting enough to have as more than incidental background.

      1. I dislike zombies — always have.

        Vampires only work when it’s the Christopher Lee/Peter Cushing or a Canadian Television show called Forever Knight which had a nifty twist to the vampire tale — a vampire who was a cop in Toronto trying to go “straight” and become human with the help of the city’s coroner who was the only human who knew he was a vampire. So, it was a police show with a vampire side line.
        I’ve never thought much about sea monsters. Guess I’m a dragon sorta girl.

      2. There was a Doctor Who series with sea monsters. I can’t remember much about them except they terrified me, and they made this awful hissing noise. I’ve obviously had them on my brain since childhood πŸ™‚

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google 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