River of Thoughts

Christine Royse Niles — Changing the world one word at a time

Fiction Friday: Maw

Fiction Friday is back, y’all!

Today’s piece is a micro flash fiction — a complete story in 150 words or less. The only setup you get: it’s prompted by the photo below, and it’s “speculative fiction,” which means it falls into the broad category of  not entirely realistic/of this world. Sci-fi, fantasy, dystopian, and horror all fall under this umbrella.


At this depth, even my spine is slow.

I push off, drifting through cold, thick water toward the cave’s rocky mouth. Simon lost contact two hours ago while charting a section of the ocean floor. The glow in the cave ahead is my only hope to find him.

The current pulls hard. My body is slow to respond down here, but I catch the rocks, pull myself inside, and pray.

Spongy walls lead into a cavern guarded by thick stalactites, walls split by jagged slits open to the ocean. I float feet first toward the cavern, bump into an object floating in the dark.

I glance up and see Simon, his frozen eyes staring through his helmet’s visor.

The floor heaves and the opening snaps shut, stalactite teeth tearing us both in half. Our bodies wash toward the beast’s throat, and I watch until my brain realizes I’m gone.


Where do you think the narrator is? Leave a comment…

(Photo via Splickety Magazine)

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About Christine

I am a writer, a project manager, and a corporate refugee with a heart for orphans around the world. My two daughters were adopted from Ukraine at ages 12 and 14. I post about writing, chasing dreams, and making a difference in the world, and sometimes I share fun snippets of fiction in-progress.

9 Replies

  1. You did a great job of creating suspense and leaving me wanting to read more. I never had the courage to try micro fiction.

    1. Christine

      Thanks, Joan! This was such a departure from my normal writing comfort zone…I did it really just to see if i could. Forget fear and just give it a try!

  2. Catching myself reaching for breath in the end of the story, I think the narrator is under water. Now I need oxygen!

    1. Christine

      Thanks! That’s kind of how I felt when I was writing it, too!

  3. You did a fantastic job of creating a world and an emotional setting in such few words. I haven’t tried micro fiction yet, but if I could write it half as well as you did, Christine… I love it! A moment of dying in 150 words or less. Love it.

    1. Christine

      This was my first try at something *quite* so short. First draft was over 1,000 words.

  4. I have never heard of micro fiction before, I loved yours. It really stirred up emotions and drew me it. I was surprised how 150 words can really catch one’s attention. I really liked it. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Christine

      Thanks, Amy. It’s a new medium for me, too. Glad it sucked you in! :)

  5. Dean

    Excellent job creating a complete story in so few words. I really liked the dark tone.

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