The sun broke through the clouds. Another day at sea ahead.

By tomorrow they would have reached port at Smuggler’s Cove. The Captain had promised shore leave of a week. He planned to spend most of it in the tavern in the centre of town.

They each had a few gold crowns to spend, the spoils of their voyage. He pictured the ideal wench he planned to take into the back rooms. Three months without the company of a woman did things to a man’s mind.

The water shimmered on the horizon. Then he spotted something, appearing out the haze. He waited a moment, letting the image develop. It became clear: a mast, a main sail, the prow topped with a flag, a Royal Navy flag.

‘Avast Ye! Ship Ahoy!’ he called, his voice travelling down from the crow’s nest to the deck below. Heads turned to look his way. He pointed in the direction of the ship.

Puzzled faces looked, shrugged, stared back up at him. Why were they not reacting? The Navy was on their tail again. The Captain was scanning back and forth with a telescope.

He looked again. There was nothing. Had it been a mirage? A phantom ship? It was around here the Flying Dutchman was said to roam.

He searched the horizon again. Three months at sea did strange things to a man’s mind. He saw nothing.

None of them did, until the first cannon of the ghost ship fired upon them, sending them to Davy Jones’ Locker, consigning them to a life as a shimmer on the horizon for ever more.

Copyright Sue Vincent

This is a response to the #writephoto Prompt: Shimmer curated over at Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo. Click on the link to read other stories inspired by the image.

3 weeks until Christmas, still plenty of time to order either (or both!) of my novels for the reader in your life. Perfect if you’re looking for a new action 2019



12 responses to “SHIMMER ON THE SEA”

  1. An interesting take Iain with a chilling sting in the tale 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, trying to do something a little different.


    1. I hope you’ll look after them!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Excellent story telling, Iain.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Loved the idea of ghosts as a ‘shimmer on the horizon’, Iain.

    Liked by 1 person

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