Thursday, 8 September 2011

Catching Phosphorescence

This is a particularly poor attempt at a short story. It's been one of those week's where the juices, and idea's aren't flowing. Wanted to give it a try, though, as I enjoy entries made here. Not been short story writing for over 20 years and like this colour - it's a bit rusty...and not so short! Fingers crossed for the future....!

Senga waited patiently for Linus.  He promised he'd return to the bay for her.  That summer he left impinged upon her greatly, and for a long time cut her open every day.  Not even the salt of the cooling sea could cleanse the hurt. The day she felt those soft blue eyes resting on her was the day she felt she'd grown up.  Fourteen years old and in love with Linus.

It didn't take long for his fisherman father and needle-crafter mother to settle in.  The small isle welcomed the great angler.  His techniques were astounding and he soon became kitchen talk.  Linus felt proud of his father but had regular bouts of guilt.  As much as he loved traveling, even across the seas, he had music in his heart instead of fish.  Linus, a pretty boy who captivated women of all ages, especially while caressing his flute of luring notes.

Senga and Linus made plans for the future. They would sail around the world, revisiting all the places he had been.  Japan was the country she wanted to visit most and he depicted for her his memories.  How approaching boats made the land look as if it rose straight out of the water, and how all the trees there seemed to grow sideways. Daylight made everything look lacy and on the waters on a still clear night, reflecting stars erased the horizon and it felt as though you were sailing through a huge bowl of stars.  His biggest promise was to catch her a sea-firefly, one chilly magical night.

'I'll bring you back phosphorescence', he promised.  'and it will glow so bright, a token symbol of my love for you'.  And she believed him, until fate struck a direct blow.


On the day he departed, heading back to Europe after his father died,  the darkest skies ever hooded the bay.  The young lovers clung to each other, each kiss tenderly stinging. Senga had hardly the energy to stand. The pain so ripping and so raw. At nineteen, they said their goodbye's.  He promised he would sail back in style for her, be the captain of a trading fleet and whisk her away to become his wife. 

 After a few years Senga lost faith in her beloved ever returning.  Her life moved on but rested with no-one new.  Accepting a few male invitations she did, but marriage, her mother feared, would evade her, lest it be for mere company.  Her heart had already been thrown into the sea and eaten by the creatures that scoured the bed looking for abandoned food.  Promises.


Tearing herself from bed, she ran barefoot out into the night and towards the shore.  A commerce sailing vessel had anchored at the bay earlier on in the day while she was away and she only just heard the news. Large sails were not common and rarely passed by the bay. By the time she reached the sand the ship was far out. Holding out the lantern and waving was no use.  It kept on it's way.

In the ship, the Captain approached a tired and weary looking crew member.

             "Linus....? What troubles you?"

             "Sir, I wanted to make it ashore today, but awoke a short time ago only to find that we're heading back"

               "Ah, lad.......the trials of the sea. When she rocks you to sleep, you must obey." he sighed........."hold that a swaying light on the shore....?"

                Linus  followed his line of vision and leaned far over the ship's side.  " No, sir.......I think that's merely  a firefly."


Anonymous said...

Writers are their own worst critic, and I think you are being too hard on yourself. This is not a terrible write, and as I read it, I was hard pressed to find flaw in it. There may be a sentence or two that could be restructured, but the story is wonderful and the crafting of it good. I give it a thumbs up, and I'm not just blowing wind into the sails!
Here's my entry, in case you ahven't seen it yet:

Morning said...

well done,

there is no concrete standard for fiction.
keep up the excellence.

Helena White said...

We are our worst critics! I enjoyed this ~ Firefly? I think not! Smiles ~ Thanks for your lovely comment ♥ ஆ ~.^

Reflections said...

Our toughest critic would be ourselves. Yet that keeps us striving to improve where we see flaws.

Beautiful piece!

e.a.s. demers said...

This is wonderful... so sad, so tragic.

Thanks for sharing :-)