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Captain Of The Trinity's Blessing

Gatherall, Yr209

     Working the sea demanded a certain amount of preparation; you had to be ready for anything, and Rom Elsen knew that. He kept himself toned and fit, able to handle every obstacle that could come his way. Even though he was only a fisherman by trade, he knew the waters weren't as safe as people thought.

     His first time ever on a boat, more than twenty years back, he'd been stuck by a huge wave that came over the bow. His right leg had crumpled under him, broken in three places. The limp that accompanied him since then reminded him that even the small amount of sea around the shoreline of Gatherall could be fearsome. It hadn’t stopped him coming back and making the water his life. There was something magical about getting away from the mass of people that crammed into too little space, most living their entire lives without feeling a fresh breeze on their face, letting it ruffle their clothes and play with their hair.

     At thirty six years of age, he was still young enough to keep himself ‘in’ with the youngsters, but old enough to command respect. He liked to keep his sandy hair cut to his ears, and on windy days like today it moved around like the waves themselves.

     He loved the freedom of the sea, away from the social tech that always managed to get in the way of a peaceful life. Rom liked to be alone - just him, his crew, and his aging friend, the Trinity’s Blessing. She always did better than any other fishing boat of her class, and people frequently asked Rom about his success. He never told his secret to anyone except his father, who was an old sailor himself, and now returned to the sea for that final journey beyond this world.

     The truth was that Rom had an amazing sense of smell, and the fish, thanks to the breeding programs and hormone supplements, gathered in large numbers that he could sense in the water, even above the salty tang of the sea air. He instinctively knew where the fish were before the other boats could locate them with their scanners.

     There was always a smile on Rom's face, even in hard times. No matter how bad things got, he knew there was always going to be another day on the water, and when his time came, he’d get to spend eternity at sea. It was his vision of paradise; he looked forward to every morning, waking up with that same smile. He especially liked days when the catch included orange harpers, his favorite fish. There was always one on the table for dinner those days.

     His crew sometimes asked questions about his personal life, but he never talked about it. Thirty six and still single, his love was not for women but for the sea, and he always responded to questions about his wife with, “I see her every day.” Life on a boat was more acceptable, and enjoyable than life stuck on land with responsibilities he didn't want. He found fishing to be all the happiness he’d ever asked for. Peace was his pastime, only broken recently by the strange catch of the mutant who’d crossed the Barrier.

     The Peacekeepers had forbidden him from talking about it, but it brought a troubled cloud on an otherwise sunny day. Since that mutant, he had the clear and disturbing sense that… there was more to come. He could smell them in the water. Captain Elsen knew his time of peace was coming to an end.

     4 of 4 in a series of short tales by Eric Kahn, set in the Elements realm of Gatherall. You can go back to the first part by clicking here.

     You might also like to check out these other series by Eric: Dash To Chokoloskee, The Old Frontier Ain't What It Used To Be, Times Can Be Tough and Trouble In The Water.

Realms > Mortal Realms > Elements > Gatherall
Art > Short Story

Created by: Last Modification: Thursday 25 of June, 2009 21:35:16 UTC by MMK.

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