Near 500 words: Love is swimming in deep waters

Love is swimming in deep waters

Far out at sea
Running with dolphins and whales
And the North Star
A light through night and the gales.

Waves rising
Out of the deep then they fall
Breaking down
An unbreakable wall.

Though there be storms
And broken ships in ruins
There’ll be day break
When the morning returns.

They bought themselves a boat

Another lyric. Inspired by the movie, “Tempest”.

They bought themselves a boat
They thought they’d sail to the islands
They bought themselves a boat
They thought they’d sail to the islands

Then a storm came along
The boat they’d bought it crashed and sank
Then a storm came along
The boat they’d bought it crashed and sank

The soul is an island
In the deep deep waters
The island is on no map
No gps can find it

They could’ve drowned at sea
Instead they made it to the island
They could’ve drowned at sea
Instead they made it to the island

This island, it was green
A paradise an Eden was
This island, it was green
A paradise an Eden was

The soul is an island
In the deep deep waters
The island is on no map
No gps can find it

If you’re one for sailing
Hire a boat goodly sturdy
If you’re one for sailing
Hire a boat goodly sturdy

So when you hit the storms
Your boat will not be sinking
So when you hit the storms
Your boat will not be sinking

The soul is an island
In the deep deep waters
The island is on no map
No gps can find it

Mr. Reynolds and the lighthouse

Nora loved the lighthouse some few miles away from the town. She loved to go down and share a picnic with the lighthouse keeper, Reynolds Reynolds. He had tended the lighthouse since before Nora was born. Her landlady knew him. Said he had come back from the war and taken over the lighthouse.

Now he was in want for an apprentice. No one was interested in the job. It was a lonely seven-day-a week job and there were no days off. Finally he asked Nora.

“What?” she asked. “A woman?”

“Why not?” Mr. Reynolds said. I”t’s been done before. Sandy Sarah was the lighthouse keeper off the cape back before you and I were even thought of. She is a legend. Once when the light went out, she stood out on the rocks and waved a lantern all night during a storm. She died on those rocks. But she saved the lives of a hundred men. She did what lighthousemen have always done. She served the ships.”

Nora gave the thing a think and decided she was up to the offer. The next time she came out to the lighthouse she told Mr. Reynolds. In her late twenties, she had not found the love of her life. So she concluded the solitary life was for her. And the lighthouse would be the first home she had ever had. She had grown up in an orphanage, then taken a room in the local boarding house and earned her living as a typist.

The next time she came out to the lighthouse Mr. Reynolds told her that the Lighthouse League had approved her appointment as an apprentice lightsman. The next day she moved into the extra room at the cottage. The day after that Mr. Reynolds began her schooling of the finer points of lightsmanship. Teaching her how to clean the lens and how often. How to order supplies for the lighthouse. Those kind of things.

In the morning he fixed their late breakfast. In the evenings she made their dinners. In the afternoon after the chores were done, they walked out on the beach.

As time went on, Nora began her love affair with the sea. More and more she thought of it as home. There was a comfort in that. Mr. Reynolds whom she took to calling Reynolds was the father she had never had. And she was the daughter he never had.

Occasionally a visitor would come out to admire the lighthouse or to deliver supplies. They saw these two walking along the shore, two companions who had somehow found each other because of the light.

Twenty years went by and the old man came to the time of his death. His last words to Norah, “I have had only two loves in my life. The light and the light that is you. Thank you for all the happiness you have given me.”

Tears formed in Nora’s eyes. “And I have had only two loves in my life. The light and the light that is you.”

There was peace on the old man’s face as he went off to be a lightsman in another world.

Mr. Reynolds body was cremated. Nora threw his ashes into the sea. Now she was alone. But there were times when visitors would see Nora walking the beach. At her side was an old man.

Short Story Wednesday: A Nice Day at The Beach

Short Story Prompt: “The Swimmer” by John Cheever

It’s a beautiful summer morning when you arrive at the beach. You thought you would get here early for some Me-time, just you and the sand and the water and the sun. And your companion, of course. But the beach is already beginning to fill with its daily allotment of sun worshippers.

You find just that right spot in the sand. Not too close to the water and not too far away. You throw your towel down and raise your umbrella for some protection from the heat. You turn to your partner and ask them to glop some SPF 50 on your back. Don’t want to get a burn, just a nice tan, so you can prove to your friends that you spent a day at the beach. They rub you down like some greased pig, ready for a luau. You laugh at the thought and ask, “Where’s the pineapple?”

Your companion gives you that look they always give you when they haven’t a clue as to what is going on in your head. It’s good to give them a little mystery. Makes life interesting on a boring kind of day.

Last time you were here, you spread out on the sand like some cowboy in an old Western. The Indians staked him there for ant bait. You were sun bait and you didn’t bake nicely. You burned like a piece of toast left too long in the toaster. No amount of butter would save that toast and no amount of lotion soothed that burn. You’re not about to let that happen again. No, you’ve come prepared. You have your SPF 50 and you have your umbrella. It’s going to be a nice day at the beach.

Now it is your partner’s turn to be greased. You squirt some of the fluid on your hands. It’s got a nice cool feel to it. You rub their back and admire their lean physique as you do, how straight their back is, the muscles in their arms. Makes you happy that you don’t have to be ashamed of the person you’re with. Makes you feel like others can look at you with envy, their minds whispering, “Gee, why can’t I be so lucky?” When you finish, your companion leans over and gives you a thank-you kiss. Then they head for the sea.

You look out at the water, glistening from the light rippling across the small waves that come in from the sea. It makes you feel that there is magic in the world. That water reaching out toward the end of the world where the unknown exists. What great liners have followed that highway. The great ones like the Titanic and the Queen Mary. What ships have taken boys off to war on foreign shores. What sailors have followed the stars to discover exotic lands. What chantys the sailors have sung to pass their time in the rigging, searching, hoping for a South Sea island and some Polynesian girl to seduce. What sail boats have gone out to sea, freeing their captains of the troubles that all landlubbers face, giving them a sense of the grandeur and the awesomeness of nature.

The surfers are beginning to climb onto their boards and head for a distant wave. The swimmers splash and yell. Your companion returns and urges you to come on into the water. It’s such a beautiful day for a swim. But you’re enjoying things just the way they are, not a trouble in the world. You’re here on the beach and that’s enough as the morning makes its drift toward noontime.

You turn and see the lifeguard on his perch behind you. He is like some eagle, searching for his prey, waiting for his chance to prove his bravery. He turns his glasses slowly up and down the beach, like some doll on a carousel. His motions are like the movement of the music of a slow waltz.

Just what is he searching for? That woman with the large breasts he can meet and convince that he is her knight in shining armor? That girl on her first school break from college? That opportunity to yell at a swimmer that they have gone too far? To return to the shore so he won’t have to come and get them and ban them from the beach? Does his eyes search for the fin of that shark that is readying for its attack?

Or maybe he too is dreaming of the tall ships that went far into the world and never returned. Of pirates that haunted the seven seas, searching for their bounty. Maybe he is thinking of Captain Bligh and Mr. Christian and Tahiti. Maybe he is building a story of ships that search the stars. Maybe he isn’t a dreamer at all. Just some boy trying to make enough money to save for the fall. Then he will be able to eat through the next year of college. Or maybe all of these things run through the eagle’s mind.

Or maybe he is thinking, “God, when do I get a break? I gotta go pee. I gotta go pee bad.”