Grief of a Sailor


He woke to the soft Good Morning!‘s of songbirds and the echoing cockerel’s reveille. The first gentle light of the sun painted the carpet of clouds in shades of orange and pink, the slow leap of salmon in the sky. A storm was coming, he could feel the shallowing of the barometer in his bones. Waves leapt behind closed eyes as he waited for the bubbling shriek of the kettle on the stovetop. He could feel the steadiness of the rich, black soil beneath his floorboards, could feel the rolling of the deck in his ears. Could smell the salt and the spray and the cold blackness of the ocean, feel the coarse pull of hessian against his fingertips.

He stood, his hands grasping the wooden balustrade as he stared over the sudden currents assaulting the ranks of corn, saw the heads dance as though in the sharp-reaction movements of a crew on deck in the teeth of the storm. Shadows flooded the valley before him, a flotilla of clouds blockading the sun.

He could smell the rain, the warm opening of the earth to its cold touch. He heard the eerie whistle of the kettle, felt the lure of the waves and freedom. Felt the warmth of his children creeping up behind him, the soft chuckle of his own radiant sunshine as she watched their children. He held the sea’s coldness close against his chest, and turned, swooping for a kiss and his breakfast.

Written for Madison Wood’s Friday Fictioneers , I guess I didn’t really notice the clustered apartment towers in the shot…

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8 thoughts on “Grief of a Sailor

  1. I like “the sudden currents assaulting the ranks of corn” – great description! And the ending holds his ambivalence exactly balanced. Well written!

  2. mgideon says:

    Wonderful description. Nice job.

  3. Jess Schira says:

    Wow! You’ve got an amazing descriptive voice.As a farm kid, I’m a huge fan of anything that references rural life. I’m impressed. Great Fictioneers piece. Also, congrats on winning the InD Tales contest!

  4. A lot of well written imagery.
    I’m #18 on the list.

  5. I love this! I could feel his grief, juxtaposed against other loves and the conflict engendered. I also am a big fan of descriptive writing and my favorite line of many was “the shallowing of the barometer in his bones.” Lovely writing.

  6. […] Grief of a Sailor by ChrisWhiteWrites ~ @chriswhitewrite ~ Literary […]

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