Monday, October 1, 2012

Sinking Ships (Part One)


She gave him away. That was the turning point for him. She didn't even leave a note; just a bundle left on the steps of a fire station. A bundle that cried for its mother.
He was admitted into the system and spent three years there. They did the best they could, but the orphanage was crowded and underfunded. He was one of the lucky ones; his blue eyes and blond hair were enough to get him adopted.
Now he lived on a small potential it jutting out into a wide river. The neighborhood was full of trimmed yards and square bushes, and behind each and every house was a dock; some with boats some without.
He was older now. He often went out back and sat with his feet hanging off the dock, the water lapping at his toes soaking his shoes. His was one of those without a boat; but off in the distance he could see one, the tip of his nose sticking up out of the water.
He had heard stories about it; foolish, childish stories told around campfires to frighten small children. They said that during the full moon that boat wandered the shore in search of its captain; the very captain that had sunk it in the first place.
A part of him hoped it was true. A part hoped that that ship would come and rescue them.
"Brian! Brian, come in!"
He stood up, looking out at the boat one last time before starting for the back door. The boards of the dock squeaked underfoot; the boards were old and the nails rusty; and then followed the cement pathway to the screen back porch. He could smell dinner as he opened the door and back door.
The woman that have called him was Barbara Madison, his adoptive mother. She was a strict woman with stark gray hair that she kept in a tight bun at the back of her head and small glasses that perched on the tip of her hawkish nose. She was always yelling at him to clean up after himself or do his chores or any of a number of horrible acts. She had once been a very kind person, but as time passed had gotten stricter and stricter.
When he entered the dining room, his father was already seated. In front of him was a heaping plate of mashed potatoes and roast beef with salad on the side which he crouched over, shoveling into his mouth like he was starving, his bald head reflecting the light of the fluorescent bolts.
He went to the small kitchen, grabbed a plate from a cupboard, and helped himself to a plate, sitting down at the same table. Dinner was eaten in silence; even when his mother joined all that was heard was the scraping of silverware against plates.
They've given up on any sense of familial love months ago.
When they were done, Brian got up and did the dishes. He wash the pots and pans individually, scrubbing each dish spotless and putting them in the rack just so. He repeated the same with the dishwasher, putting cups in there rows and dishes and the theirs. When he was sure everything is perfect he ran the dishwasher.
When all that was done, it was nearly bedtime. He headed upstairs, brushed his teeth, changed into his pajamas, and went to bed. He knew that about 10 his mother would come to check on him; he had run away once in his youth and that had made her cautious. After he was convinced she wouldn't come back, he got out of bed, changed into his jeans and a hoodie, and climbed out of his bedroom window, backpack slung across his shoulder full of food and clothing.
Walking quietly across the roof, he takes his backpack off and slings it to the ground, climbing down a tree that grew by the house. As he looked around he realized it was unusually bright. He looked up; the moon was full and bright.
Then, in a flight of fancy, he looked out at the dock where he had spent so many afternoons. There, as though waiting for him, was the boat.


To Be Continued...