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A Trout for Life

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I couldn’t even open my damn eyes without water spraying them right back shut. I only saw sharp flashes o’ color, the vivid yella life jackets, the green buoys lashin’ back and forth o’er port and starboard, the clouded, dark, swollen ocean heavin’ over my baby’s tender gunnels. The waves circled round us, the world runnin’ from our ill-starred souls. My invincible crew stood squat next to the mighty storm, their screams piercin’ red through my eyelids. I got no grounds to call myself Cap’n anymore. I’m watchin’ as my brothers go down like flies, I’m a darned cowar…a deep crack sounded above me, I watched as the mast withered, unstable from its holdin’, and collapsed. Ol’ Jack’s hand lay on the bow painter, his burly torso motionless under the now-vertical aluminum rod. My tears were nothin’ next to the waves, no matter how hard they were fallin’. Back at Portsmouth Dockyard, I could picture Jack’s wife Mary-Beth sittin’ on the tethered wooden bench that looks out on the water. She always sat there waitin’ for him to come on home. My heart slowed when I thought about that, ‘cause I realized that Mary-Beth and Ol’ Jack would ne’er again stand face-to-face, would ne’er again bicker over whose turn it was to do them dishes, and would ne’er again make love. Hell, if my crew were ever to hear me thinkin’ this way, I’d be jabbed to death. It’d be like that one time I kissed my whale of a trout when I thought nobody was lookin’. That was one damn nice trout… “Captain? Captain!”
I looked up to see my rookie crewman Johnny Parkins anxiously wavin’ his palm at me, his eyes wide like the curious toad he had always reminded me of. “What is it son? I thought I told you to grab a f*in’ tight hold o’ somethin’ and stay there!”
“C-cc-ccc-captain, captain” Johnny stuttered, “th-th-the wave done took Joe o’er board. Hh-hhelp! Help! We gotta get in there and bring him back, c-cc-c’mon, help me…help me.”
I knew I had to be stern with Johnny. He was talkin’ nonsense, anybody who’d been thrown in the water wasn’t comin’ out. “To hell with it Johnny! There ain’t no way possible to save him. Grab a f*in’ hold on somethin’ like I done told you to, and pray to the dear lord that you don’t blow into that ocean yourself!”
Johnny shook his head and ran off towards the port side of our vessel. He looked back at me for a quick second and bellowed, “I’m comin’ for you Joe!” Before I could stop him, he flung himself into the water, into death. Johnny was just a baby compared to me, and now he was gone. I didn’t know how many of us were still breathin’, but it was only a matter of time before we all met the same fate. Our mast was down, our supplies were gone, and smithereens of our engine were scattered across the ocean.
I’ve never thought of myself as a bad man. I’ve always just sort of, been there. A fly on the wall, as one might say. Everythin’ only makes sense to me when I’m aboard my boat. My life started here and it’s right that it should end here.
I stood on the bow deck, and looked down into the ocean’s mess. I let my arms out straight from my sides, and let the wind push me forward. I was a fisherman, from birth till death.




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mrs_raegan_bieber said...
Dec. 12, 2012 at 5:01 pm:
i love the grammar use :):)
 
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