Short Story – Part I

The boat rocked violently back and forth, side to side, tipping with the current and against it. Marshal who was at the helm had his coat zipped up over his nose, and if his hat hadn’t blown away his face would have been completely covered. He couldn’t stand the cold, and when the ocean spray drenched him once more, he hollered for Zebb to come on deck.

No reply.

Zebb was tall and thin with curly red hair. He was lucky his eyes were the pale blue they were, lest his beard would have overwhelmed his face and his looks would have been lost in the bush.

Marshal wiped his face with his arm, holding the helm as steady as he could and looked out ahead. He squinted and then widened his eyes.

There was Zebb, standing at the end of the pulpit.

“Crazy bastard,” Marshal yelled. “Get away from there! If you fall in I’m not coming after you!”

Zebb could barely hear Marshal over the wind and the waves, though Marshal was not one to go unheard. But he stood there, with the elements rushing toward him, smiling. He loved the cold. He loved the way it would wake his senses and leave him shivering. It was discipline for him to resist the chill, a welcomed challenge. But the wind was far too strong to resist, and rain was pouring, beating down like the sounds of heavy drums, echoing in his ears.

Zebb turned and walked back to the helm to join Marshal.

“What do you think you were doing up there?” Marshal yelled in his ear.

Zebb laughed his laugh, brushing him off as he grabbed the helm.

“It’s my turn,” he said, taking the wheel from Marshal, who waved him off and went below deck. He was tired and wet, a familiar combination.

His Vessel needed fixing. He wondered how long she would hold up and if it would be best to dock at the next port or continue toward the Hudson. Docking would have certainly been best, but Marshal did not want to extend the trip any longer.

He lay down on his cot.

There were people waiting for him at the edge of the bay, one person he had been apart from for far too long. A round, flushed face with gold stripes tangled in her ashy hair. Maybe she would be wearing that dress that cinched her waist in just so. The one with the little flowers on it that played peekaboo when caught by the wind. He thought about her as he drifted off.

The boat would not dock tomorrow.

Back on deck Zebb was trying to be careful about the night watch, thought it was easy for his mind to wander. Tonight, it was carrying him far away, through familiar woods. He recalled what it was like to lie in the grass, on a cool summer night. How delicately the green would brush against his cheek while the wind blew, tracing the stars in the sky with his fingers, looking for Orion’s Belt. It was a fantastic sort of bliss for him. Yet his last night spent camped beneath the stars was far less euphoric. His neck was sore and his throat seething with pain, and as the rain beat down on his tent, he shifted in his sleeping bag trying to stay warm.

TDM

If I had a Son

If I had a son

I’d name him Jonah

And for the first time I’d be in

Love

With teetering tot

Melting into white cotton

Sheets twisted

around bits of

Twig and sand sprinkled

between the folds of socks

that have slid off of

tiny toes

That I could collect

without disturbing

my love

who

After a long day of

Travelling through backyards

And almost making it over

the swing set is

slow burning

grace

resting gentle

face

 

TDM

Word Vomit of the Imaginary Traveler

I have gone on many paper adventures, pages and pages of text have carried me up and up, far, far away. Daydreams and sleepy dreams have comforted my thoughts and set an imaginary trail behind me. Footsteps through cobblestone pathways, sipping dark coffee, following lamppost moons. Then tracking through snowy banks, heavy feet and runny nose, breathing in crisp frost, windy tears wiping away snowflakes that land on cheeks. Sun baked faces turning red as gazes are lifted, trailing the side of ancient monument and sand castle. Silk or linen draped across wandering eyes, highlighted colours amongst sepia and terra cotta. Crickets keeping souls awake in the night, a reminder to feed the fire to keep the warmth from escaping the tent, so that catching fireflies is a little bit more interesting. Though harder to see them in flame light, it is better for roasting marshmallows. Stopping by a stream to sip or splash water in the cracking faces and worn boots. Stopping by the side and peeling off jackets to rest heads on, stones to prop tired feet upon. And finally listening to ocean swells with active ears and quiet faces, being sprayed with salty mist. Then to squish toes in the sand when the water has not covered them, scraping a heal on a little shell, a tiny home built in repetitive beauty, swirling and twirling curves. The shell made of soft pinks and yellows, like the canvas stretching far beyond the rolling and bouncing waves, going going on until hidden by blues, lighter, then darker, then burst of silver overhead. Twinkle to preserve some light for walking home in, howls to bid goodnight.

TDM

Bathe

I would very much appreciate some feedback on this piece. I haven’t decided if it is complete or not. Please let me know what you think.

 

I washed with primrose

Rosehip and jasmine oil

On the night of the full moon

In a stream

Under hill

I bathed over pasture

And disappeared with

With every ripple

And drip

In the superb

Retrograding reflection.

 

TDM

Wings and Tied

It has been a long time

Since I have listened to chirping or

A flutter

A far cry from usual territory

Out of range by a long

Shot

 

Beats

Like a propeller, where there is a chill

In the air

Retreat

Or do not if your bones permit

If your fragility

Has not caught up with you

And your garb is puffed and fluffed

 

In flight you are

Formidable

On solid ground

You are canvass and backdrop

All in one

Swoop

 

And glide

In a most translucent way

That there may be less chance

Of foul and etched irritants

From gilded feathers

Plucked

Of a nuisance.

 

TDM