Friday Fictioneers – Flying Boat

First of all, my apologies. I’m on holiday in Greece. I hadn’t been intending to write a story today, but when I saw the prompt it fitted so exactly with how I had spent this morning (see below the story) that I couldn’t resist…apologies are due, though, because I probably won’t read many stories by other people.

Every week, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields (thank you, Rochelle!) hosts a flash fiction challenge, to write a complete story, based on a photoprompt, with a beginning, middle and end, in 100 words or less. Post it on your blog, and include the Photoprompt and Inlinkz (the blue frog) on your page. Link your story URL. Then the fun starts as you read other peoples’ stories and comment on them!

FF - Flying Boat 190801


Flying Boat

It had been many years since he had demonstrated his displacement principle to the tyrant of Syracuse, years filled with achievement, honour and, above all, the satisfaction of his curiosity about the world.

Fire burned, a valve tripped, water flashed into steam in turbines, turning the sails from a windmill. The vessel surged heavily across the water, faster and faster, rising as the air rushed beneath its wings.


The sails tattered, the laths from which they were constructed beating the blue water to milky froth.

Archimedes frowned. Materials. The principle was sound. All he needed was better materials.

Author’s note

I visited the Archimedes Museum in Olympia today. It’s devoted to the technology of ancient Greece, and it’s astonishing. If political conditions had been different, the Industrial Revolution would have happened two millennia ago. The story above is (probably) not true, but all the technology was available for Archimedes to make the experiment.

Blue Frog – join the Inlinkz party

47 thoughts on “Friday Fictioneers – Flying Boat

    • Dear Iain
      Thank you for reading and commenting. Yes, it’s fascinating to speculate about ‘what if…’ The Romans adopted some of the technology. If they had gone for it wholesale, they could have ruled the world (oh, hang on…they DID rule the world!). But on the whole I don’t think the politics of the day was sufficiently developed for the Industrial Revolution to happen.
      Thank you, too, for your good wishes for my holiday.
      With very best wishes

      Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Bear
      Thank you for reading and commenting. The holiday is great, thank you. This morning we have visited the Museum of the Olympic Games. The Games took place every four years and the sequence continued unbroken for over 1100 years! Incredibly, we still know the names of 20% of the winners, even though about 2000 years have elapsed since they competed. The name of an Olympic champion truly does live forever!
      With very best wishes

      Liked by 1 person

      • Wow, that sounds exciting! We were going to drive up to Gettysburg and see the Civil War Museum and battlefield next week, but the car’s water pump died last night, so there goes our anniversary funds.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. Dear Penny,

    Love this piece. So many what-if’s and why-nots which, in my opinion, is what good fiction is comprised of. Well done. Enjoy your holiday. I’m also out of pocket visiting my brother in North Carolina and enjoying the beach. Therefore my responses have also been delayed.



    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Ali
      Thank you for reading and commenting. Woven fabric soaked with pine resin and carefully dried would have been a start in that direction – but there’s only so much time in any one life!
      With very best wishes

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Keith
      Thank you for reading and for your kind words about my story. Greece is a wonderful place. I try to visit for two weeks every year. It feels like my spiritual home. I hope very much that you have the opportunity to visit soon!
      With very best wishes

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Brenda
      Thank you for reading and commenting. Some of the Ancient Greek inventions were fascinating – and some showed a whimsical sense of humour. For example, Pythagoras invented a goblet for wine that punished greedy people. If you filled the goblet no further than a level marked on the side, you could drink the wine. If you overfilled the goblet, a siphon actuated and emptied the entire contents of the goblet!
      With very best wishes


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