And here is my second entry, that gives a bit more of the story from yesterday's first entry. I have one more part I was debating about entering if I got to the final round. Maybe I'll post that, too. Or maybe I should keep it for "The Book"!
Biscuits were in the oven baking up golden as the evening sun.
I heard the familiar chugging as I set the supper table.
“Men’ll be in any minute... Potatoes, cabbage, corned beef. Biscuits almost ready... Butter. Salt.” I rubbed my hands down my faded floury apron.
The scrape of their boots trudging up the steps to the porch, the screen door slamming as they entered the mudroom and hung up gear - they were as comforting as any sounds I’d ever heard. Breathing came easier when I knew they were safely returned to shore.
Silently, they went off to wash up; husband to the kitchen sink, grandson to the upstairs bath.
“Coffee or tea, Cap?” I asked, bending to get the biscuits from the oven.
They sat at the table in silence as potatoes and biscuits were handed around, and the corned beef and cabbage were dished out.
“Set his traps in mine,” Cap’s words were low and released slowly. I barely caught them.
“What...who? Who’d do that? Not the new guy?” I could feel the life draining out of me. Cutting in on another lobsterman’s fishing territory was dangerous business.
Lost in his stormy thoughts, our “dinner conversation” was ended; I knew there’d be no drawing him back.
Pushing his plate aside, Cap picked up the newspaper and went to the living room. Jesse quietly excused himself and retreated upstairs to listen to music or read, or whatever he did up there when it was too quiet down here. I sighed and cleared the dishes.
In the soapy water, my fingers felt around on the sink bottom for forks or knives. There were no little buoys attached to tell you they were submerged down there. I laughed to myself and drained the sink.
I settled into my chair next to Cap’s, and studied his weary face. It had been a hard day added to hard years - good years though. I yearned to erase those worry lines and smooth the time wrinkles.
It was early, but Cap folded the paper, and pushed himself out of the chair, straightening slowly.
“Guess I’ll turn in.”
“I’m just going to sit up a bit,” I reached into the sewing basket by my chair.
“ ‘Night, “ he whispered, kissing my forehead.
The stairs creaked under his weight, and then I heard the bedroom door close. I waited until there were no more sounds from above, assured he was asleep.
Dropping my sewing back into the basket, I headed for the door. I grabbed my coat, and found his knife and flashlight in his gear. I silently slipped out into the darkness, heading for the boat.
A few cuts and Macy’s buoys would be gone, and his traps dead on the ocean floor.
“No little buoys to tell you where they are...” I laughed to myself.