The New Calabria Seafood Debacle

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Jack just wants seafood.

 

Jack got a text from his dad. He was being invited to dinner with him and some associates from the academy. The restaurant was right by the water, on Church Road. Perhaps it was another attempt to re-activate him into the order, but there would be seafood. He hiked out to his car and went his way.

The highways were packed, so he took a detour. He’d need to cross the bridge to get to where the map was pointing him. He knew the restaurant was in New Calabria; he just didn’t realize that it was two hours away. Why would they schedule a dinner so far away from home? Why didn’t he remember any of his trips there as a child taking more than 30 minutes? Still, he drove on. He had the music turned down to hear the voice of his detached phone. The sun was almost down by the time the first call came.”

“Hey son, where are you?” his father asked. 

“I’m… on my way out.”

“It’s been 30 minutes, do you want us to order without you?”

“Yeah, go ahead I’ll be there soon.” Jack looked anxiously at his phone. Another hour and 20 minutes to go. The roads were shrinking and becoming tight. There were no more bookshops, hardware stores or restaurants to be found. The land seemed so much more vast, it was as though he’d never seen so much of his own county until now. He marveled at all the little houses he found tucked away in the flat woods of the coastal plain. Then he began to think about how everyone and everything has a vast lineage, life, and perspective on reality. The world truly was greater and stranger than he would ever know. He stopped to feel how drowsy he was and drove on. 

The asphalt turned to gravel. The moon was high over the trees. The woods broke into an open acre or 3. He came to a crossroads and turned left, onto Church Road. The gravel went on and on. He saw a burning oil drum to his left and a creche standing around it. He advanced up the horse trail and found another clearing. Two men on the porch got to their feet and stared. Clearly, they weren’t expecting any breach into their private domain.

There was a double wide trailer and a young woman sitting out on the grass. A horde of dogs advanced on the car. Jack backed up and turned around when he felt he’d gotten far enough away from the dogs. As he went flying up the dusty trail he saw the lights of an ATV glaring through the haze. The huge old man onboard pulled to his side, and hollered for him to stop. Jack did, but he did not know why. The old man was so furious that he could not even articulate the command to roll the damn window down. Jack opened it a tiny crack, mumbling apologies. The old man exploded into a sea of threats.

 

“If you ever come back here I’ll kick your fucking ass, you hear me?” 

 “I’m sorry. I’m sorry.” Jack rolled the window up and hit the gas. The sentinel did not give chase. 

  “Did you specify to the map that you wanted the Church Road in New Calabria?” his father asked when he showed up to a plate of seafood 3 hours late. They took their food to go. Jack’s father noticed his son was shaking.

“Y’alright?” he asked.

 “Yeah, I’ll be alright.”


 


Submitted: December 24, 2020

© Copyright 2021 william edge. All rights reserved.

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