Tuesday, June 16, 2015

A short story: Clear Sailing Ahead

I just entered a short story contest - and I wanted to share with my story with all of you.  The contest was to write a 400 word story using a particular picture of a sailboat as the inspiration.  Here is the story I wrote, but instead of their picture I am using the photo I took in Antigua instead

Clear Sailing Ahead

 Sitting on the deck I felt like I could breathe for the first time in weeks.  My head was clear and I could see a future. The ocean was healing.  The salty sea spray washed away the pain of the past month, filling me with strength and determination that I didn’t know existed inside of me.  
Out here, with the waves and the wind, I was no longer the poor widow.  I wasn’t just that lady everyone felt sorry for.  “Did you hear what happened to her family?” they would whisper as I walked by.  I don’t know which I hated more; their pity or their moral superiority.  

At first I felt crushed with fear, like I was underwater and drowning.  It was hard to think or even take a breath.  Family and friends tried to be supportive, but they didn’t understand.  How could they, when I didn’t even understand?  I had to get away, to think.  I turned on the laptop and there was the picture of our dream, my dream – the sailboat. 

It had to be a sign.  It had to mean something.  Suddenly I felt a clarity that I hadn’t felt in years.  I call Renee and listed the house.  It felt crazy, but I knew it was the right decision.  My brother told me not to make any big decisions right now, but he couldn’t understand.   This was the perfect time.  I jumped into action; cleaning out the house, selling and donating everything. 

Renee came by with a young couple and they loved it.  They oohed and ahhhed at every room, envisioning their future.  I knew that my future was now somewhere else.

Renee called a few hours later; the offer was good so I accepted it.  It was final now.  I had just cut the last ties to my past.  I got in the car and drove south, with no destination in mind.  I don’t even remember driving; I just knew I had to get away, to begin again, somewhere.  I needed gas so I got off the main road, and there it was.  The boat, the exact boat from my laptop picture.  I couldn’t help myself; I pulled the car over.  She was so beautiful. 

I heard someone clear his throat behind me.  “She’s for sale, are you interested?”

“Yes!”  I could see my future and it was clear sailing ahead. 

thats 397 words for those who were counting - Wish me luck!

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