Photos of a Dolphin Named Han (Micro Fiction)

Happy Weekend Readers, 

Joining in with What Pegman Saw, which brings us to SINGAPORE (here) for this week’s FLASH FICTION writing challenge.

Here is the photo prompt for today’s fiction:


Photos of Han

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Word Count: 150


“Move right, slowly….”

Sliding two steps over, I lifted my arm, allowing the hidden lens to zoom.

Click. Click.

“You’ll have to be quieter if we’re going to get photos of Han.”

The metal door creaked, startling us, as three visitors scurried into the observatory room. Dust particles sparkled, flickering through light beams.

It was beautiful, for a moment – debris cascading through tints of violet and teal. Then a knot formed from inner disgust. That sparkle was connected to rust and dirt. Another indication of neglect, inadequate care, and animals getting hurt.

Finally, dolphins passed our way, including injured Han. Sores visible through the aquarium glass.

Click. Click.

Walking briskly, we left Dolphin Lagoon, hearts pounding as each door banged behind us.

Reaching the car, we hid the camera and cranked the engine.

Nervously we reached the exit gate.

“How was your visit?” asked the guard.

“Fine, sir. Just fine.”


Author Notes 

In order to get ideas for my piece of fiction this week, I looked up a few tidbits about Singapore. Then, I decided to narrow my search down to a point in history – and I went with the year 1991.  I found my muse because Singapore’s Underwater World Oceanarium opened in 1991. Also, this connected with me because did you know that in spring of 1991, I was seriously thinking about becoming a marine biologist. I was all set to attend Florida Atlantic University that Fall, but I changed my mind (went into regular biology and then – and eventually – majored in education). But I smiled at the connection to that year and that short phase in my life. 

Turns out, the Underwater World Singapore closed its doors in 2016.

The reason it closed was due to neglect and sub-standard living conditions for the animals. There were two formal investigations done in 2014 (by Wildlife Watcher Singapore and Sea Shepherd Conservation Society). What grabbed my attention was what led to those investigations.

The formal investigations happened because people reported the neglect they observed.

That reminded me that sometimes we might be the one that needs to speak up and not passively assume things are okay. 

So in my fiction today, I had a pair of everyday folks doing their part to document an injured animal to help report a neglect issue.

They are everyday heroes. 

photo credit: Wikipedia and Today Online


Thanks for reading.

 Care to join in with the What Pegman Saw ? go here.  

Thanks to Karen and Josh for hosting this challenge. 

(c) priorhouse blog 2019








21 thoughts on “Photos of a Dolphin Named Han (Micro Fiction)

  1. How horrible, that anyone would neglect and even injure animals like that. I agree with you: the people who exposed them and shut them down are everyday heroes! And you captured the tension of them sneaking in to do so very well in your story.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Bad management and oversight happens everywhere, especially when the whole organization is rotten through the core. But I know what you mean, you can’t always tell based on the shiny exterior they can present.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I like to hear what people make decision for studying or to learn.

    Personally, these days I do not like seeing animal in captivity any more. I think they too big or small have basic feelings as we do. Freedom is one of the major basis too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks YC – and you make such a good point – we look at “swimming with the dolphins” or another animal as this luxury and adventure =- but at what cost to the animal – good point and thanks for chiming in here 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Many animals just shouldn’t be kept in captivity – at least not the kind of captivity where they’re expected to perform for human entertainment. Thank goodness the place was closed. An important subject to cover – well done

    Liked by 1 person

    1. thanks so much Lynn – and I guess if someone is going to keep them captive – at least nurture the heck out of those animals and make their life better – not worse – or don’t do it at all perhaps

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi and thanks – when I read about the two investigations that were done in 2014 – they said it happened because of customers reporting – and so that led to what it might have been like to be someone sneaking some documentation for a complaint
      have a great day 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, two good things came for that customer’s report. And one of them was your story. 🙂 And ditto to you of the day. Mine will be spent editting.


      1. I thank you. It is. Book One, two chapters off finished. Then there’s Book Two, Book Three (Book Four is done) and the revisions and rewrites on Book Five, and then … I launch The Spinner’s Game upon the world. By Christmas? I’m beginning to doubt it.


  4. My husband and I have talked about swimming with dolphins on vacation, but decided not…because of the captivity. I’ve loved these animals for decades…I’ve never lost my love of the ‘Flipper’ show from my childhood years. I can still sing the opening lines of the song. I like your flash fiction.


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