As you may know, I am currently taking a break, but wanted to share some of my earliest posts with you, that you may have missed.
This story was the last one I wrote for my Creative Writing course and I published it on my block on the 29th of March. It became part of a series and one day I intend to write some more.
All the best 🙂
This is part one of a longer story. I will keep writing and upload sections of about 800 words.
Please let me know what you think.
Chapter One: Estuary Summer
The tide was out. There’d be no fishing for now. We sat down and began mending our nets, basking in the warm sun. The sky was as clear as a crystal blue lake with barely a wisp of lacy white. Rivulets trickled through the mud to join up with the main body of water which had retreated across the bay. The stagnant stench of mud was overpowering and yet strangely familiar and comforting. He had smelt this smell every summer of his life, for as long as he remembered. Whenever the tide was out and he helped his grandfather get ready for his next fishing trip.
He could see, on the other side of the now diminished river, the white buildings that made up the Casa of the richest family in the area. He saw their jetty sticking out into the water and walking on it, he saw her. Her dark hair was flowing in the wind that also stirred the hem of her pristine white dress woven with bright red ribbons that also entwined her hair. She was the same age as him and they had gone to the same school, but he had always admired her from afar. She probably wouldn’t want to talk to the son of a fish merchant, the grandson of a fisherman. He was far beneath her. His heart didn’t appreciate these social intricacies, however.
“Here lad, keep your eye on your work or that net will unravel on you and catch you no fish. What’s got your attention then eh? Oh, I see, setting your net for too grand a catch. Look, my boy, you’re too young for that sort of thing, barely out of school. Learn yourself a trade and work hard at it. When you’ve got something to call your own, some money in your pocket, then you can think about women. You’ll need someone who can work beside you, keep house or keep shop. Not a fancy thing that looks pretty but is no use to anyone when the catch comes in. You hear me, Pablo?”
“Yes Belo, A boy can dream though can’t he?”
“You can dream or you can mend nets. Now is the time to mend nets. You can dream later.”
He knew his grandfather, or Belo, as h always called him, wasn’t really annoyed with him, he was just a bit tetchy when he’d rather be out catching fish.
They went on mending their nets until the tide started to turn, after an hour of sitting in the warm sunshine. He felt the wind get stronger too. A fresh salty air straight from the sea.
They got their small fishing boat ready, the Conchita, or little shell, his Grandfather had called it. It was only big enough for the four of them, his Grandfather, his Uncle Miguel, his cousin Matias and himself, ‘little Pablo’.
One of the other fisherman, Old Diego, called out to them.
“Hey, Rodrigo, you’re not going out this afternoon are you? Can’t you smell the storm coming? You won’t catch me going out today, not for all the fish in the bay.”
“Diego, you’re nothing but an old woman! We’ll be out and back before any storm hits and we’ll have the catch of the day and you’ll have nothing to eat but your sandals.”
My Grandfather called back. Uncle Miguel laughed and wiped a tear from his eye. My Grandfather was a local character, he liked making people laugh. Old Diego wasn’t laughing though, he was just shaking his head.
They were just out of sight of the headland when the weather started to change. The rolling waves of the sea started to get white tops on them and the sky, so clear earlier, contained those wispy clouds that told of the storm coming swiftly in. Just like Old Diego had predicted. They hadn’t even had time to catch any fish yet.
“Belo, can we go back. I don’t like the look of that sky coming.”
“Yes, little Pablo. I was sure we’d have enough time, but I admit I was wrong. Let’s get the nets in and head for home.”
They all started hauling in the nets, just a few mackerel to show for the risk they had taken. Then Mother Nature decided she was not going to wait for them. The storm hit suddenly and hard. The purple clouds that had been on the horizon only minutes before now covered the sky. The thunder roared and the sea behaved like a thousand demons were writhing and wrestling just beneath the surface as all hell broke loose.
The last thing he remembered was Uncle Miguel looking grip on the rope holding the boom and it swinging around, knocking him on the head and off the boat into the churning sea. Then nothing but blackness.
Slowly, he opened his eyes. He was lying in a soft bed. A candle just gave enough light to show the young woman leaning over to touch his forehead. He smelt her perfume, spicy and intoxicating. Bewildered, he asked “Where am I? What happened?”
Softly, she replied. “Just lie there, don’t move. You’re safe now.”
End of Part One…….
Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 29/March/2018
This was the first part of my story that just happened to contain the word Rivulet, which is the word of the day. If you liked this story please have a look on my blog to see the following parts.