shipwreck-of-the-united-malika photo by jbdodane

I stabbed the heat once with a sharpened twig. I didn’t kill nor wound the blistering menace but it felt my rage, my unbridled defiance.

I would cocoon myself in palm fronds to avoid its searing wrath. The sun chuckled at my naïveté as its orange tentacles slipped through tiny cracks and looped itself around my wilting body like a flaming octopus. Cursing the infernal beast was fruitless as it only made me thirstier. Sometimes I just ran, bolted across the roasting sand until my lungs bloomed fire. The bored star tracked my escape, offering a hazy middle finger as a prize.

When the loneliness descended upon me like nightfall and my mind sank like the boat, I was forced to make peace with my tormentor. I would salute her daily and she reciprocated with a warm kiss. We lost ourselves in flirty laughter and conversations about family, books and climate change. She was muted perfection. Once, at dusk, I confessed my love, told her that she was the golden heart of my sky.

I still think of her four years after my rescue. Every morning I watch through the window as my fiery mistress rises in all her splendor. I always offer her a whispered and desirous hello.


My entry for Flash! Friday Volume 3-12. Your story was to be inspired by the photo prompt above and the conflict of Man vs Nature had to be explored in some fashion. Word count between 190-210. Pleased to receive a Special Mention this week considering there were 83 wonderful entries this week. A top 8 placement is pretty cool. The judges this week were Sinéad O’Hart and Pratibha Kelapure, two talented and kind writers. Their comment about my tale is below.

For an Interesting Premise: Chris Milam, “Saulė.” This story gains a Special Mention for its interesting premise. A shipwrecked man (we presume) who goes from raging at the merciless sun to feeling a grudging respect, and eventual affection, for his one-time tormentor, we thought this tale offered a fresh and interesting take on the idea of man vs. Nature. The image of the sun’s rays like ‘orange tentacles… loop[ing] around [his] wilting body like a flaming octopus‘ was particularly accomplished.


5 thoughts on “Saulė

  1. r1ch13w0n6

    I like the use of metaphors in the post its very vivid and seems to let the words dance on the pages. The words have a strong presence

  2. Foy

    I loved this one, Chris. It was definitely one of the ones that stood out and demanded to be read. The last line – ” I always offer her a whispered and desirous hello.” – completes it perfectly.

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