Flash Fiction 5/6 prompt: blame, ride, beach, 300 word limit, Winner
It was a beautiful calm day so I thought I would go snorkel along the wall near my boat anchorage. I hopped in the dinghy and took the short ride about twenty yards shy of the beach and anchored the small boat in five feet of water.
I love taking underwater pictures and sharing images of what few have ever seen for themselves. I had heard there was an octopus hanging out on the wall and I wanted to photograph the illusive fella. I put on my fins, mask, snorkel, weight belt, and secured my camera to my wrist.
At first, the landscape looks almost barren but anchored to the wall are hundreds of different animals and some plant life. Boulders of hard coral with an intricate maze of channels appeared as misplaced brains. Purple fan coral swayed majestically in the current. Pink finger coral appeared as hands reaching up through the sand. Colorful sponges get their nutrients by filtering the salty water. The fat noodly appendages of an anemone fluttered its pink tips while a tiny blue shrimp hung on the fine hair of another.
A snail charged past a poky starfish both on their way to another part of the varied neighborhood. I was busy snapping photos when a dark shadow caught my eye. I looked up and was staring into the left eye on the far end of the head of a large hammerhead shark.
I instinctively back pedaled, pointed the camera in the direction of the ten foot long beast and hoped for at least one good shot. Without looking where I was going, it's my fault for getting stung by the fire coral. And I never saw the octopus.