Last Day of October

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic


Just a little Odd-something for the season.

Submitted: October 21, 2017

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Submitted: October 21, 2017

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Top of the morn-in to you, Shamus! And how are you on this glorious Tuesday morn-in?" asked David Durks as he passed by Shamus's fishing boat.

The boat was docked at a wooden landing that snaked its way, at right angles, out from the shore.

Shamus's face took on a sly sort of grin as he tended to one of his fishing nets.

"I'm fare to middle-in, Davie," Shamus replied, "and how's yourself today?"

David looked Shamus dead in the eyes and replied, "As good as gold, but not half as pure!" Then he laughed a billowing laugh that might have been heard all the way to the ends of this tiny fishing town of 42.

Shamus laughed as well, and then he said with a twinkle in his eye, "You sure are in good spirits on this last day of October. Did you catch a Leprechaun on the way to the bay?"

"No, no Leprechauns today, but if I had caught one I'd be at the pub tell-in the tale and buy-in rounds, that's for sure," David replied as he laughed again.

Shamus countered, "Well, if it were to happen then I'd better be one of the first to know and the first to belly-up to the bar for a beer."

"Oh you would, my friend, you would," David said as he walked down the dock toward his boat, The Lullaby.

As David walked along he noticed that his body's weight didn't give reason for the boards under his feet to make their usual creaking sounds. "That's odd," he thought.

David regarded the sound of the boards under his feet as a pleasant sound, a sound he has listened to for the better years of his life.

Suddenly David realized that there were two men standing near a piling, just a few feet from the stern of his boat. The figures were partly hidden in shadows and they were as silent as the wings of the passing gulls.

David didn't recognize the men for their faces were masked in shadows. But none the less he greeted them, "Top of the morn-in to you!" There was no response, so David stopped about halfway up the plank to try greeting the men again, but when he turned in that direction the men were not there.

David walked back down the plank and searched the dock, but he found no-one.

"What are you look-in for Davie, Leprechauns?" Shamus yelled, then laughed.

David yelled back, "Shamus, did you see anyone on this dock this morn-in?"

Shamus scratched his half bald and freckled head, thought for a moment, then replied, "Was it a tall man in a Pee-coat with a hooded sweater, and was he wear-in overalls?"

David thought and said, "Hay, that's what I'm wearing!"

"Well," said Shamus, "you're the only one I've seen on the dock today."

Then Shamus started his grandfather's boat and cast off the dock ties. And with a steadily increasing, putt---putt--putt-putt-putt-putt, sounds coming from its little engine, she made her way out of the harbor.

For three generations that little boat had weathered storm after storm, She has carried more than her share of fish to market and sailors home safely.

Some say the boat is magic, or possessed, depending on which villager you are talking to. The Fish-wives and little children keep the fantasies about Shamus's boat alive and ever changing.

There is a saying among some fisherman that states, "No ship sinks twice." So Shamus's Grandfather took the saying to heart when he got the idea to build his own fishing boat.

Every week, when the weather and tide was right, his grandfather and his three sons would take their dingy out to the Seafarer's Graveyard, a series of jagged rocks that rise along the eastern end of Eagle's Cove. Like a dragon's spiny back the rocks stick out of the water, but only on calm days and at low tide. And it was on those kinds of days that the four men would hunt for ship scraps and usable lumber.

For six years they searched, choosing only the best that they could find, and when Shamus's Grandfather amassed a goodly amount of lumber he began to build. So when he was done he had built one of the finest four man fishing boats any fisherman could hope to own. She was short and wide, something akin to a tugboat, and she took to water like a cork from a bottle. And under her tarnished brass and muted Green paint is the wood of 37 boats, barges, and ships; so says Shamus and his family.

The boat's wheel is from a personal sailing vessel, the South-Wind, and her ships bell was still attached to a board of ship-lap when they pulled the board from the rocks; they cannot read the name, it is in German. But the prize of all prizes is the bait-tank; it was an oversized mahogany bath-tub that apparently came from a wealthy man's pleasure craft. The man was believed to be a rather robust individual considering the size of the tub, however, the tale of that tub is sketchy because Shamus's Grandfather's Christian thoughts interfered with what might have been the truth. He never realized that the tub might have been built for more than one person in mind. None the less, the tub is a beautiful addition to the center of this little boat named Ghost Wood.

It wasn't long before David left the dock, and as he did so he looked back to see the men standing near the same piling. The men appeared to be waving to David to return. David just shook his head, as if he thought he was seeing things, and looked again; the men were gone.

David usually has a first mate and at least one deckhand, sometimes two if the fishing is good, but his first mate, John Brown, had not come to the boat for several days. Word was that John Brown had to tend to his father's business; the man had past away. And wouldn't you know that David's deckhands were John's Father and sometimes the cousin; so David has to fish alone today.

Yes, David will be fishing alone forever; so say the Fish-wives and little children. This is the story they tell come the 31st of October.

You see, there was a terrible storm 30 years ago. The storm took David, John Brown's father and cousin. They were all on the Lullaby together. The storm took Shamus as well.

On that day, Seven boats were torn apart and sunk to the bottom with one massive wave. The only thing found was an oversized bathtub and the battered hull of a fishing boat, “Ghost Wood”.

 

D. Thurmond / JEF

10-20-2017


© Copyright 2018 D. Thurmond, aka, JEF. All rights reserved.

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