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Battle on the Beach (flash fiction)

October 3, 2013

Seagulls fighting by EA Wicklund

Karl swooped at Kraw, knocking him down, but only for a moment, as he bounced up and fought back, the beaks of the two gulls clacking and piercing at each other, the rest of the flock standing stock-still on the hot sand, staring wide-eyed at the battle, collectively gasping as Karl reared back and let out mocking cackles that were closer to his kin the Laughing Gull, before he shrieked, โ€œNo more! No more shall you be first for boardwalk French fries! Thereโ€™s a new alpha dog now!โ€ and then surged at Kraw in a powerful and graceful nosedive.


Friday Fictioneers prompt given by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. For other stories inspired by this photo, click here.
Photo copyright E.A. Wicklund
Story copyright Dave Williams

27 Comments leave one →
  1. October 3, 2013 6:24 am

    Dear Dave,

    You disappointed me severely as I thought you were going to complete your entire story with just one long, interminable, entertaining sentence much like this stellar comment from me.



    • October 3, 2013 6:41 am

      It’s a bit dicey with the spoken words in the story, but I like to think of it as one crazed, action-packed sentence, and thanks for the stellar comment!

  2. October 3, 2013 6:24 am

    Dear Dave,

    interesting that you used alpha dog to describe the alpha gull. I award you the golden French fry.



    • October 3, 2013 6:42 am

      Alpha dog was the first that came to mind after I shucked off “alpha male” in thinking it sounded too scientific. Maybe the gulls looked up to the dogs that ran on the beach? After the writing of it, now I’m just coming up with excuses. Thanks for the golden French fry — it’s delicious!

  3. October 3, 2013 10:00 am

    When Karl snaps he sure goes off the deep end, doesn’t he? It’s almost like watching a kid on a playground attack a bully after being pushed to the ground one too many times. Kind of like that scene in A Christmas Story where Ralphie pummels Scut Farkus.

    • October 4, 2013 10:48 am

      I love that reference to A Christmas Story — who didn’t cheer for Ralphie when he finally stood up to the bully?

  4. October 3, 2013 10:44 am

    Just delightful…nothing like starting the day with a smile.

  5. October 3, 2013 10:46 am

    I had to reach for my inhaler halfway through that… ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. October 3, 2013 11:29 am

    Somehow I have the refrain “There’s a new bird in town” (Eagles’ “New Kid in Town”) playing through my head. As for the one-sentence story, that’s nothing. Take a look at “Robinson Crusoe” if you want some really long sentences!! ๐Ÿ™‚


    • October 4, 2013 10:49 am

      Funny that you have that Eagles song in your head. Also, I didn’t know that Robinson Crusoe had really long sentences. I remember reading Faulkner, and there were some sentences that lasted for pages.

      • October 4, 2013 10:51 am

        I think it was “Robinson Crusoe”. Anyway, the one I’m thinking of had page-long sentences and lots of “viz.” I guess it helps the read-aloud reader to develop breathing skills. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. October 3, 2013 6:24 pm

    I can imagine how french fries would be coveted. Especially boardwalk fries from OC Maryland…yum!

  8. October 3, 2013 8:43 pm

    i think, i’d kill for french fries too. haha very entertaining piece ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. October 4, 2013 8:38 am

    Your story triggers great comments! But your take does have an interesting philosophical side too, for me.

    • October 4, 2013 10:56 am

      I like your note about the philosophical side — I laughed when I wrote the story, but I found an interesting undercurrent there, about a male of a tribe (or flock) sick of being number two and challenging the alpha male.

  10. October 4, 2013 2:38 pm

    Love your names for the gulls, reminiscent of the sounds they make. Nice!

  11. October 4, 2013 2:57 pm

    Ah yes! I love reading about Seagull Wars! Very clever.

  12. October 4, 2013 10:04 pm

    This reminds me of getting dive bombed at a place called Rudy’s near the Oswego State campus. The gulls there are vicious.New Yorkers!

  13. October 4, 2013 11:17 pm

    You totally nailed the argument between the gulls. I guess they needed to establish a “pecking order.” So fun! Great job.

  14. October 5, 2013 3:05 am

    Darn it, I didn’t take a breath before reading that sentence and now I’m dead. I enjoyed the story right before though.

  15. October 5, 2013 3:08 am

    Absolutely agree with EagleAye above, those territorial fights over French Fries are too much! Great detail in your description of the battle.

  16. October 5, 2013 4:29 pm

    Hey pardner, there’s a new sheriff in town–and this one likes french fries. Great tale, Dave.

  17. October 6, 2013 11:28 am

    Oh, wow, the “Alpha Dog” line coming from a seagull absolutely makes the story! And I do love anything with French fries!!!

  18. October 8, 2013 1:14 am

    Neatly crafted, love the flow, brilliant story Dave!

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