The Old Man – in the house – By The Sea. (a short story)

A violent wind blew in accompanied by rain, rain so fierce it felt as if the heavens were raging on the inhabitants of Earth. The sky was tinted green with strokes of grey and black mixed in. Giving off an ominous picture. The storm it seemed; had rolled in from nowhere. The old man stood on his porch, grey beard, short grey hair, pipe hanging loosely from his mouth. He has seen some shit in his day, and this storm didn’t seem any different.

Captain John Malcolm, a retired fisherman, had been born and raised on this island. His father and his grandfather, even his great grandfather had all been captains of fishing vessels. All had lived in this house and so far, none had died in it. That’s the thing with career fishermen, you usually don’t get to die in your bed surrounded by your loved ones. You end up lost at sea, down with the ship, or out with your boots on; as they say.

John’s wife, Shiloh, had passed two years ago, ever since then, the house has been too quiet. Now too old to head up a boat, John was living the retired life and hating every bit of it. No, wife, no boat, no adventure, no fun. His kids, both girls, long since married and moved off the island, rarely visited. John hated that too. He wanted a son to take over the business, Instead, he had to sell out to his brother’s kids.

Never did John think he’d end up all alone here in this big, empty, silent house, surrounded by the memories of times long past. His life belonged to the water, that’s where he belonged.

Throwing on his favorite raincoat and hat, he stepped off the porch, immediately the rain was in full assault, a rage that John was familiar with. He laughed to himself, well out loud really, and felt more alive than he had in years. It took someone who had seen some stuff to really feel alive in this element.

Starting his walk to the dock, he saw people staring on, jaws open with a touch of concern. Maybe it was the fact that when John had put on his raincoat, he stripped all his other clothes off and left them sitting on the porch. Naked he came and naked he wanted to return.

As he walked, he took it all in, memories of a life well-lived, adventures had, stories shared. He was at peace for what felt like the first time in a long time. He waved at all the on-lookers, a huge smile on his face. He felt like he was in a one-man parade with all the attention he was drawing.

John reached the dock, turned, and looked back, in the distance he could barely see his home. He blew a kiss to it, stripped off his raincoat and hat, smiled, and gave a yell that accompanied the thunderous choir and dove into the water. Waves as tall as a two-story building were crashing in at that moment, rain, wind and all the makings of a great storm welcomed him as he entered the water.

When John went in, he never came up. No one looked for him. After the storm cleared all they found was his jacket and hat. He still had his boots on.

Published by Nate Melugin

This is a creative outlet for me to get out the things that rattle around constantly in my mind.

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