#15 Spring Thaw

by Lori A. McNeilly

Headless seals were scattered along the rocky coastline and she could not figure out why. There was a crisp March wind blowing as her eyes scanned the ice pans in the bay. Huge chunks of ice butted against each other looking like a massive pile of building blocks left by a careless child.

Half a mile out a black dot caught her attention and she quickly raised the binoculars that dangled from her neck. Focusing the lenses until the image became clear, she suddenly found herself looking into the liquid eyes of a harp seal. Her pulse quickened with the thought that he might actually be looking at her. A moment later she dismissed the thought knowing that the powerful binoculars were simply doing their job.

Her arms began to ache and a slight tremble shook her hands but she would not give up her watch. She inhaled sharply when a block of ice suddenly moved and the seal began to slip precariously into the open water now exposed by the sudden shift.

The gaping hole closed and caught the seal by the head. Blood pumped from severed arteries sending what looked like black ink jetting through the air. She watched in horror. Lacey trails of scarlet sprayed across the virgin white ice. She remembered an abstract painting she had once seen in an art gallery. Perhaps the artist had been inspired by the force of Mother Nature, the true CEO of planet earth.

She turned and slowly walked away.

5 comments:

Sam Knight said...

Your strong visual elements lend nicely to the horror of what you are depicting.

Tricia Sankey said...

The vivid details really work here! The piece leaves one detached, similar to the dismembered heads.

Daren Despot said...

the visuals are sharp, concise and powerful. the reference to the prompt was neatly done and the theme was at once chilling and detached. i love it.

JRVogt said...

Startling images, though I was a little confused as to what is happening. Is the earth itself killing the seals, or killer whales under the ice? Anyways, nicely done.

Jen Harvey said...

That's a great opening sentence!