*The following were submissions for a project called Voice and Vision 2018, The second story was chosen to be published.
The artwork was created by Verone Solilo, check out more of her wonderful artwork at
1) The small boat made its way across the starlit bay, carrying it’s two favourite passengers as per usual. It was thrilled to see that they were back to their quiet loving selves this time. It had been deeply worried as their last trip had been over three weeks ago and they had argued relentlessly. Instead the two made their way to the usual anchoring spot in silence, broken only by the gentle hum of the boat’s engine and the slap of the waves against it’s hull.
As they reached the spot the woman turned off the engine, then began to help the man into the water for a swim. The boat never understood why humans tried to swim as they were far less buoyant than itself. Still, to each their own and the small red boat simply observed dismissively as the man floated for a second before slowly disappearing under the waves. The woman turned the engine back on and began making their way back to the shore. The boat supposed the man wanted to race them back which excited it. The woman seemed happy too as she smiled, steering the boat over the moon crested waves towards shore, even as raindrops fell solely at her feet.
Salt water sprayed refreshingly in her face as she made her way around the coast. Her suitcase rested by her feet as ‘that’ house grew smaller on the beach behind her, along with all the oppression and torment it represented. Ahead of her was nothing but open water and new possibilities. The little red boat she was never allowed to touch was now her trusted steed on her way to freedom.
Gunshots rang out behind her, muffled by distance as they splashed harmlessly into the water around her. She looked back to see her oppressors jumping up and down on the dock, the fire of their fury useless against the expanse of extinguishing sea between them. With a smile and a wave, she bid farewell to her past and turned her gaze back to the possibilities before her as the small boat dutifully carried her forward.
Alarms rang in the night and out into the bay as a frenzy of lights and sirens approached the house. Anne simply smiled quietly to herself as she guided the small red boat silently into the moonlit night. It slapped the waves heavily as Anne and the cargo of gold, jewelry, other priceless trinkets weighed down the small watercraft.
She tilted her head back and stared at the beautiful expanse of starlit sky above her, tuning out the commotion on the shore, already knowing how it would end. In the morning, the news would announce that millions of dollars of stolen treasure had been taken by a beautiful but mysterious woman during the prince’s birthday party that evening. There would be no accurate descriptions of the woman as she always made sure to be as forgettable in person as possible. All they would know for sure was that the white card with a single red lip print pressed to it would be found where the treasure had been. Anne didn’t care about that right now though, right now was simply between her, the sea, and the stars. She could worry about those pursuing the Red Lady tomorrow.