Lindsey stepped off the ferry, hefting a bag on her shoulder. The cold wind whipped her long, dark hair around her face. Pulling the strands away from her eyes, she studied the familiar dock. The salty tang of the sea mixed with the smell of fish and diesel. Gulls swooped and swirled in the gray sky, their sharp cries stabbing her heart.
Walking along the uneven boards, she approached a wind beaten shack. The salt crusted window was half open. A woman sat inside, the radio reporting a storm while she flipped through cash and cards with hands as tough and weathered as her surroundings.
"Can I help you?" she asked without looking up.
"I need to find the Dora Mae." Lindsey set down the heavy bag, stomach churning.
The woman looked up sharply, narrowing her eyes. Lindsey could see her note and reject her cream cashmere sweater, her Burberry trench, her manicured nails, the lipstick that hadn't been quite chewed off. She stared back steadily.
"Thank you." She picked up her bag and began to walk. Boats floated on either side, their hulls butting and scraping the wood. Ropes creaked and pulled. Halfway down, she saw him come out of the cabin. She froze, her eyes drinking in the changes. His shoulders filled out the flannel jacket, scruff darkened his jawline. The wind played with a tangle of curls peeking out from his knit cap.
She forced herself to move forward on numb limbs. Closer, she could see the web of lines around his chocolate colored eyes. His hands pulled at the ropes on deck. Tears blurred her vision as she remembered those hands gentle on her body.
She came to a stop next to his boat. Sensing her, his head jerked up. Years melted as she stared into his eyes.
"Per-" she swallowed, her mouth suddenly dry. "Permission to come aboard."
Pain, hurt, love, regret, hate, betrayal all crossed his face in a kaleidoscope of emotion. His jaw hardened. “Permission denied.”
“Michael,” she whispered achingly, reaching out a hand. He flinched as if she’d struck him.
His eyes studied her coldly, noticing the changes in her body. “Is it his?”
“Of course. He is – was my husband.”
“And thought you could come back here?”
“You shouldn’t have. I’m not the same guy.” He turned from her, releasing the ropes. He climbed inside the cabin, starting the engine. Holding her gaze, he began to back out of the slip.
She swung her arm back and threw her bag forward. His eyes widened in surprise and then alarm when she took a step and leaped across the widening gap. She stumbled on the deck, catching herself on a pile of nets.
He stopped the boat, running out of the cabin. “Are you insane?”
“I’m not the same woman.”
I decided to challenge myself. Most of my fictional posts are pieces and parts to larger works. I decided to make this a single, short story. I'm not very good at curbing my verbosity (shocker) which means short stories are tough for me. I tried to evoke an image, per Angela and not delve too deeply into their history.
So...did I do it? I mean, there are lose ends, but like Cam said, short stories allow us to explore a slice of a life and we don't technically need full resolution to the conflict.
As always, concrit is welcome and appreciated.
2 days ago