Roars of massive motors rang around his ears. The wooden spans of the harbor stretched past the surfs of the white capped sea. Wooden and steel vessels lined the flanks of the pier. From his small rowing boat beached upon the rocky shore of the sea, he stared at the other ships. Breaking from his short period of jealousy and longing, he stepped in front of his boat and pushed against the stern.
The gritting of rock was heard and was followed by the swash of water against the hull. The man walked after and climbed in, taking oar in hands he began his life long work. The rising waves splashed against the peeling paint as the shore was slowly swallowed by the withering sea mists.
Thoughts of trouble trailed through his mind as he lightly tossed his small stretch of net from his boat. White floats bobbed up above the waves. He took his seat on one of the wooden planks. Fishing was always patience, waiting. . . leaving only time to think, to ponder. It was what he did, he worried. . . about the others. The other fishermen, the catch was becoming scarce, the fishes smaller. He looked over the side of aged boat and into the turbulent waters. The craft slowly rose and fell with the passing currents, drops of brine collected on the idle oars.
It was calmer here, he knew, the sea gentler, but, the fishes were less. He did not have a ship. There was only his boat, the Glory. The lettering now gone, leaving only the faded "G" to mark the boat that was once proudly his father's.
Things have changed. There is no more space for ones like me.
The small floats sagged; dipping into the water. The knot connecting the net to his boat unfastened. Small eddies formed as the heavy rope slipped into the eager arms of the ocean. He took no notice as he stared deeper into the glassy surface of the sea. The boat rocked again and the floats disappeared under a wave.
The man looked to his only tool, his only chance of surviving in the world. It sank, it disappeared, and his hope vanished with it.
There was nothing else, he thought impulsively. Never reaching out to look for the knot, already knowing it was gone, releasing a weakened sob as the thoughts of coming worries, coming troubles, suddenly fell upon his quivering shoulders. His hands stopped before he touched the waiting oars. His legs straightened as he stood and regarded the waters. A single foot stepped on the edge of the boat. The Glory tipped precariously, his other foot followed. The boat rotated and the sound of his splash was lost instantly to the coming day as he disappeared into the sea.
Icy spears caressed his body as he sank, deeper. He saw a fish, whether it was his delusional dream or another play of the cruel gods, he watched as it swam around him.
"Why have you come to join me?" The sound of a voice whispered into his ear.
He tried to speak words, his lips moving slightly, "There is nothing else. You live much better than I."
"I live to die. What do you live for?"
"I live, and die"
"Then we are the same, join us then, we were always alike, you and I."
"To live and die to feed another."
"There are always others."
© 1998 Lorlelf, all rights reserved
appears here by permission
This story just came to me. Bored one day and wrote it.