Another bit of flash fiction for the subject of the week. :)
The boat shimmied on the line, pulling at the ropes like a fierce horse as the waves shunted it away from the docks. I could only watch in silence.
The Effervescent Mermaid was my father’s, a downeast cruiser of ramshackle paint and a host of memories all wrapped within the scent of brine and dead fish. The lobster traps hung useless at the sides, dreaming of crustaceans and covered in a smattering of barnacles.
I had no dreams. No wish to feed my family upon the whims of the sea.
From where I stood, I couldn’t see the shrouded body of my father, nestled in the bosom of his beloved boat, rocking to a lullaby he could no longer hear. But if I cocked my head just so, I almost saw the old man, nut-brown and stooped and smiling at the white-caps in the distance.
The rope whined beneath the strain of an impatient current.
Time, time it sang.
I sliced the rope, watching only until the boat began to drift. For a moment it was as if the boat were the anchor and the dock was afloat, bobbing and whirling me into some distant place.
“Aye, then,” I whispered and turned away.
The tide could take them both.