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Painted Pros

Vocal Challenge Submission

By Amie Published 12 months ago Updated 12 months ago 3 min read
The Great Wave off Kanagawa - Print by Hokusai


The soldier stood atop the tiller gazing out at the unending blue with a sense of giddy horror. The vastness revealed in all its glory under the clear skies. No land was visible from any angle as the sentry made slow, monotonous laps of the exterior. It was a strange sense to be so alone with so many others. Surrounded, yet together, utterly isolated.


The bright azule, reflected both above and below, gave no insight to the tempest soon to besmirch the placid day. It would take a keener eye than human to detect the smudge of steel cloud off to the east. Take a far more experienced seafarer than the collective of this host to be able to read the faint winds whispering through the Tekkōsen. It mocked them all. Laughing quietly at the futility of man and their inability to accept their limitations.


It began as the soldier reached the foremast. A gentle ebb and flow to begin. One that at the end of a weary shift, could be mistaken for a lullaby. The gentle rock of the iron structure lulling one into a dream-like state. Standing there in a haze, the soldier could be forgiven for noticing the tender sprinkle of rain only enough to appreaciate the cool kiss of it against their cheek. In an exhaustive haze, gazing out at the unending blue. One could almost imagine the host had reached the end of all things. Where earthly limitations lifted. Here, the soldier could imagine the Gods reigned. Terrible and magnificent. The soldier stood tall, arms stretched out to the sides, a frightful impulse to jump from the foremast overwhelmingly tempting. To see if they would sink like so much lead, or sprout wings and fly. An unmeasured, dreamy step forward was taken before the soldiers musings were recklessly abandoned at a sharp shout.


Two quick steps of abashed retreat, head bent in submission of a reprimand that never came. The soldier soon realised the shout had not been in recognition of their moment of derangement. Looking to the ground afforded the soldier with an awareness of thick rivulets sluicing down their visage, obscuring their view to almost nothing. The rain, so gentle and comforting only moments before, descended into a tumultuous tempest. Madness reigned aboard the vessel. Reams of soldiers flitted back and forth, battening down the hatches. All the while, shooting furtive, terror-filled glances toward the heavens turning the colour of slate. Bruised and ready to batter any unfortunate souls stupid enough to cross its path. The soldier lurched, the gentle ebb and flow no more. Now, each side of the Tekkōsen fought to kiss the roiling waves at one time. Threatening to rip the gargantuan iron vessel clean in half. It was all the soldier could do to keep their footing. Frozen in horror, duties forgotten in the face of such raw power, they could only stare.


The churning waves ended as abruptly as they had begun. The sky gave no indication of following suit. Remaining dark and discoloured, lashing sheets of cold hard rain stronger than any volley the soldier had encountered. The host stood frozen, the air was still and charged with static. Instinctually, the soldier knew the peril was not yet passed. This, the soldier knew, was the deep breath before the plunge. Whatever was about to befall them would wreak unknowable havoc and devastation. A shout from the tiller had the soldier moving with trepidation toward the front of the vessel. There it was. The plunge. A great wall of water moving forward with sickening speed to greet them before swallowing them whole. The soldier could have laughed at the accuracy if the paralysing terror did not hold such a firm grip on their lungs. This was the end of earthly restrictions and the Gods were not pleased at being disturbed. Dropping to their knees and bowing their head, they prayed to Ryujin, Susanoo, Amatsu-Mikaboshi, any God they could think of to deliver them from this, The Great Wave. In their supplication, the soldier missed it. The shadow extended from tiller to foremast before the great aquatic beast devoured the Tekkōsen, claiming the souls for the sea.

JourneyHistoryFine ArtFiction

About the Creator


I love anything and everything creative, but writing is the main object of my affections. I hope you enjoy my work!

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Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

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  1. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

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    Well-structured & engaging content

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    Original narrative & well developed characters

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Comments (1)

  • LB12 months ago

    Absolutely blown away, this is stunning. I love your storytelling and imagery. <3

Amie Written by Amie

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