Archive for May 2nd, 2011

2nd May
2011
written by amber

The Dinghy

Tom’s fingers were freezing as he pulled the dinghy ashore.  He dropped the bailing bucket into the bottom – he wouldn’t need it any more.  He made no effort to secure the boat – he wouldn’t need it either, wherever he was. Where was he?  As he stumbled across the rocky beach, he could hardly see a thing.  Large rocks loomed out of the fog, barely in time for him to avoid crashing into them.

He sat on a piece of driftwood, massaging his hands.  Somewhere above and beyond this white miasma surrounding him was the clear crisp day he’d set out in, not more than four hours ago.  Somewhere not that far away was home, safety, other fishermen, yet it was far enough that he couldn’t hear the fog horns, possibly far enough away that he’d written his own death sentence in every pull of the oars, every can of water desperately thrown over the gunwales.

He’d rowed in a direction that had felt right, but land hadn’t come for far too long.  The current ran counter to his intentions, he’d tried to adjust for that. Had he over-compensated?

He knew now that he had to be on the Mary Islands.  They were uninhabited, too low to provide bird nesting sites and good egging, the waters around them too rough for easy fishing.  And too far from the mainland for his crippled dinghy to make the passage.

Tom cursed aloud, rising stiffly from his driftwood bench and trudging back to his boat.  He examined the hole again, finding nothing new.  It was still the hole he’d repaired in haste two months ago, telling his wife he never used the dinghy anyway, what possibly could happen to his lovely new boat?  If anything catastrophic were to happen to his lovely new boat – say a collision between two damn fools both traveling too fast in thick fog – a stupid little wooden dinghy wasn’t going to help him then.

Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story posted by Amber every day on her website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012.  Stories must be a minimum of 200 words.  Please assist me by adding first line suggestions in the Comment section.

Thank you to Michael Mott for providing the first line