But now that it is done, and since it has been online already anyway....I'm posting my first 500 word story here now. And tomorrow I'll post the next part of it (which is what I submitted for Bout 4). Let me know what you think. Could I expand this into a whole book? I think I'm shaking. Should I try to turn from teacher to writer in my retirement? There's that shivery, shaky thing happening again.
“Nerve a’ him.”
He spat in the water.
Daylight was just spilling on the waves as we came into open waters. There among the red of my grandfather’s buoys were yellow ones indicating traps below; unwelcome traps set alongside my grandfather’s.
Many had seen Mark Macy as he arrived to register the “Cammy May”. His questions about the best places to set traps had gone unanswered. Who in his right mind would tell him that? Besides, if it was good, it was taken. Someone finally told him a possible location - not the best, not even a good one. It hadn’t been fished for the past five years for a reason. Macy’d have to earn and learn his way into good fishing, just like everyone else.
But now the newcomer to Springer’s cove had invaded Gramp’s traps. Somehow he must have “learned” that the other location was dry. Had he sensed their amusement? Had he overheard talk down at Hershel’s Bait?
My grandfather pulled his traps, edging his boat around the yellow infestation. The haul was good, but not as good as most days. Our live-tank was three quarters of the normal haul, enough to pay bills, I was pretty sure, but not enough to have some aside for winter.
Finished, Gramp steered homeward, moving fast, cutting through the caps. He was quiet, staring straight ahead, no familiar tune from his grim lips as we turned into the cove. The gutteral chugging of the slowing engine almost calmed my pounding heart. Pulling up alongside the pier, I spied light from the kitchen window. My grandmother would be setting the table for evening meal.
“Set his traps in mine,” was all he said as he sat down.
“What? Who? Who’d do that? Not the new guy?” Grandma’s face grayed.
Picking at my food, I tried to make myself eat. I understood the seriousness of Macy’s actions, but at fourteen, I couldn’t think of anything helpful to say or do. After supper, I escaped to my room.
The sound of the phone gave me a jolt. Had I fallen asleep? Breakfast smells told me I had.
I heard my grandfather’s voice low and steady.
“No, don’t know.”
I tossed the covers back, slid into clothes and scrambled downstairs. With breakfast remains still on the table, Gramp was getting gear ready to go earlier than usual. I grabbed bacon and toast and followed him out to the pier. No words were exchanged as we untied the lines and shoved off.
Slicing silvery calm, we made our way out of the cove. Gramp’s face was emotionless, and I held my breath as we neared his spot.
No yellows. I exhaled slowly in relief.
“Been weeded,” was all he said, his blue eyes dancing like sunlight on waves.
Macy’s lines had been severed, leaving ghosts traps to rot on the ocean floor. But somewhere yellow buoys were floating free.