Widow's Point

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
There is something odd about this little fishing town, but I can't quite make out what it is.

Submitted: August 16, 2017

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Submitted: August 16, 2017

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It was a fog bound morning in the fishing hamlet of Sullivan Bay, and a local man named Jillian Murphy was on his way to work.

The smell of the sea was kissing his nose and the cool salt air was finding its way through his nearly worn-out kitted gloves.

Jillian used to have the finest gloves in the county, until his wife past away. Teresa’s knitted sweaters and gloves kept his body and hands warm. And her gentle tenderness kept his heart warm too. --- She is sorely missed.

The old navy "P" coat, a keepsake from his Grandfather’s navy days, was a tad worn, but still did its job on these kinds of mornings.

The sound of the buoy-bells could be heard in the harbor as Jillian passed Mrs. McCormick's cottage.

As he passed he looked over at the front stoop where Cinnamon was watching him, and as soon as that Border Collie saw Jillian looking her way, over the rock wall she jumped.

In her mouth was the ugliest, dirtiest, wooden stick a human could ever want, not, to see. This stick was so yucky and ugly that it had to have come from a Ugly-tree, or a Yuck-a-bush, whichever.

Cinnamon ran across the road and right in front of Jillian, almost tripping him in the process.

Jillian yelled, "Go on with you, dog, I am not going to toss that stick!"

In and out between Jillian's legs the dog darted, causing him to stumble for the fear of kicking her.

"Ya crazy dog," Jillian hollered, "get on with you!"

Cinnamon ran way out in front of him and dropped the stick in the muck, then turned and began barking.

Next, the dog started bounding around, then running back to the stick and tossing it in the air, then more bounding followed."

Jillian stopped and looked at the pesky mutt, "Well I can see that you are not going to leave me be until I toss that blasted stick," he stated. "So bring it here girl, come on!"

Cinnamon snatched the stick from the ground and ran towards Jillian with the look of a dog that had not had anyone to play with in ages; and to tell you the truth, she has not.

The town's entire fishing fleet was caught in a killer storm last November and Mrs. McCormick's husband, and one of her sons, was lost at sea.

It was the largest funeral this county had ever seen, 38 men and boys were lost from a town of less than 100 people. Everyone that is left, mostly wives, mothers, and children, are still in morning. --- It is a sad situation, to say the least.

 

Well when Cinnamon reach Jillian she dropped the stick at his feet, barking soon followed.

Jillian picked it up and gave it a toss that any Quarter-back would have been proud of. It sailed passed Mrs. McCormick's cottage and landed in the fire-pond.

Cinnamon was in hot pursuit of a freshly bathed stick!

"There," thought Jillian, "that should keep that lonely mutt occupied long enough for me to get out of sight." He chuckled soon after.

***

 

"Go-in fish'n, are ya?" asked Michael McBride as Jillian walked passed.

"Sure am Mike, just like always," he stated.

"Have you seen Finnegan Moore yet?" asked McBride as he tried to strike a match to light his pipe.

Jillian stopped and turned toward Mike to asked, "No, was I supposed to?"

"Don't know. He was here, oh, not too long ago, and he asked if you had been by," Mike stated as he puffed on his pipe.

Jillian just shook his head and said, "Well, he knows where to find me if he needs to." Then he headed to the dock.

To Jillian Murphy, the sound of the seagulls and the smell of the dock was always a welcome part of his morning. Just as the lapping of the waves against the hulls of the boats were music to his ears.

***

 

Jillian Murphy is a fisherman and the son of fishermen, going back five generations; at least that is as far back as the family knows about.

The story goes that Jillian's great, great, great, great, grandfather washed ashore after a terrible storm.

The storm lasted for about a week before the sun broke through and dried things out.

After washing ashore and being brought back from the very brink of death by Vella McCloud, he up and married her. He couldn't remember anything about his prior life, after the storm, so he had nowhere to call home and no-one that he could remember to go home to; so he stayed.

The name Murphy came from a name-tag sown into his shirt. And they say his wife, Vella, liked the name Jessup, so she stated calling him that. Thus, Mr. and Mrs. Jessup Murphy were recorded in the church's marriage book.

 

But there is a shadow that lingers over the men of the Murphy household, and it is one of death at sea.

Some people in this community, the more superstitious ones, say that because Jessup escaped death at sea, now all the men in the family must die that way. And they have, everyone was lost at sea and never a body found.

But the less superstitious ones say, "It is the way of the ocean fisherman; more die at sea than don't."

I guess it just depends on who you talk to.

***

 

Murphy made his way down the long and wobbly dock to his boat, and started tending his nets.

He was early and there were very few people out and about. That is what he thought until Murphy heard someone behind him.

As he turned, there was Finnegan Moore standing about two foot back and he was just staring at Julian.

"For the love of Mike, Finnegan, you 'bout gave me a heart attack!" Julian stated loudly.

Finnegan replied without so much as a blink of his eyes, "You and I both know that can't happen."

Murphy was puzzled by that statement but past it off by sayings, " I hear that you have been look'n for me. What's on your mind?"

Finnegan face grew dark, like a shadow had fallen across it, then he stated, "I saw him again, just like the last time. I was out in my dingy fishing near Widow's Point when he rose out of the water. He looked at me and said, ("Tell Jillian that the time is short and we are waiting."), then he sank back into the water."

Jillian became angry and said, "What the hell is that supposed to mean, Time is short?"

"You tell me, Finnegan snapped back, "the message was for you, not me."

"Well I don't understand it and I'm not too sure that you aren't play'n some sort of game here," Jillian stated.

"What are you saying, that I'm making all this up?" asked Finnegan, his face becoming an angry sort of red.

Then Finnegan continued, "He was my best friend and your grandfather, but it is you he's come to see. You've been avoiding him so he comes to me with these messages, how do you think that makes me feel?

I'm telling you, and I swear it on my dear mother's grave. I watched your grandfather jump into a stormy ocean and pull an un-tethered shore-boat to some half drowned sailors; sailors that never would have survived if not for the safety of that boat.

I was the one on the Cutter's docking ramp, and I was the one that took the shore-boat's tow-line from your grandfather cold hand. But by the time he reached the docking ramp, well, he wasn't himself anymore.

From then to this day, in the dreams of the night I still see that foggy image looking up at me, then sliding under the waves."

Jillian bowed his head low as tears flowed from his eyes, then he said, "Such a thing is a terrible burden on a man's soul, and I had no idea that it was that way with you, Finnegan. You truly are my grandfather closest friend and I am sorry for this burden that weighs on you, truly sorry."

Finnegan Moore wiped tears from his own eyes before saying to Jillian, "Your kids are all grown and have moved away from this town. And your wife, God rest her soul, is gone too. So I don't know what you are waiting for."

With that said Finnegan walked along the dock and disappeared from Jillian's line of sight.

Jillian Murphy looked around, at the dock, at the town, and up towards his hillside home. Then he said to himself, "Finnegan is right, nothing is holding me here except for my own stubbornness.

That is when Jillian cast off the dock lines and his ghostly vessel drifted away from the dock and out towards the breakwater.

"Taking her out today?" asked the ghost of Michael McBride.

Jillian replied, "Yah, I thought I'd dock at Widow's Point for a while."

"That's a good choice mate," Michael replied as he puffed on his ghostly pipe, "you'll be the first of the 38 to do so. --- And I'm sure the rest will follow as their family’s grieving subsides."

 

 

D. Thurmond / JEF

08-14-2017


© Copyright 2017 D. Thurmond, aka, JEF. All rights reserved.

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