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by on July 30, 2012

This story was written for Trifecta’s weekly prompt, which in this case was to use the word normal: “a form or state regarded as the norm; standard.” Enjoy!

For Fillmore Streamlet, plunging upside-down towards a tank full of poisonous jellyfish was exactly his definition of normal. He might even have found it a little anticlimactic. Fillmore would’ve suggested robotic jellyfish;  ordinary jellyfish were so last year.

The trouble was, it wasn’t Fillmore; no, this time it was Cyan. Cyan was perfectly capable of defending herself against human combatants, but her mad fighting skills weren’t quite as effective against a bloom of jellyfish. Cyan hated that, and she also hated that she knew the correct term for a group of jellyfish, and worse, she knew exactly what would happen one-point-seven seconds from now when she hit the tank. She had already identified the species: the Chironex fleckeri. The sting of just one could kill her in minutes, and by her admittedly hurried count there were two hundred and forty-seven jellyfish below.  Cyan was really not happy that she knew the exact details of her imminent demise.

The jellyfish were very rapidly filling her field of vision now; she had focused on one particularly nasty-looking specimen whom she named Bob. Bob, she suspected, may have been an enemy of hers reincarnated. That might explain why he was wriggling his tentacles at her with such apparent malice. Cyan assumed it was a “he”; she’d never had occasion to determine the gender of an extremely poisonous Australian box jellyfish before. Come to think of it, maybe that wasn’t malice Bob was expressing; maybe he just wanted to be friends. Maybe he was the Mr. Rogers of the Australian box jellyfish set! Cyan doubted that, honestly, but one had to keep one’s spirits up, especially when one was only twenty-three milliseconds away from smacking face-first into two hundred and forty-seven jellyfish. Cyan noted, with some disappointment, that her life wasn’t flashing before her eyes; it looked like her last thoughts were going to be about the gender and friendliness of the jellyfish that would kill her. Oh well, she thought, just as she hit.


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  1. great piece. loved it. sucks your right it, which is exactly how great writing should be. 🙂


  2. Great tension in this story. I was hoping she would have found a way to escape, but oh well 🙂

    • Well, this isn’t the end of Cyan and Fillmore’s adventures, I can assure you. I don’t know how exactly yet, but it isn’t. 😛

  3. your story drew me right in and I plunged in right along with the character

    • I’m sure Cyan appreciates your sympathies, or she would, if she weren’t stuck in a tank full of lethal jellyfish. Lol.

  4. This is a great little piece. Caught my attention and would like to see what happens to her. I know I wouldn’t have jumped into that tank LOL! Not willingly anyhow.

    • I wouldn’t have either. Then again, poor Cyan didn’t jump so much as “got dropped in by a Bond-type villain”, so…yeah. 🙂

  5. Great tension and overall feel…
    You truly hit the mark, my friend!

  6. Now that’s a real cliffhanger! Great writing.

  7. Ooh, that is a nasty sort of peril for Cyan. Hope she makes it out!

    • I do, too; I’ve come to like her a bit, and I’d probably be sad if I killed her off.

  8. You created a lot of suspense here. I was starting to get short of breath!

    • In the words of Willy Wonka, “The suspense is killing me! I hope it’ll last!” 🙂

  9. I really enjoyed this Cyan chapter. It’s such an unusual world you’ve created. I love the idea of attacking jellyfish being old news. Robotic is the future, you know.
    Thanks for linking up with us again. Please come on back for the new challenge on Friday.

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