Old Ship at dusk

Prompt: painting of an old ship at dusk. 4-3-10

            Tom sat on the dock and watched the setting sun turn the late afternoon sky into a wild display of light and color.  The cool air grew crisp as the autumn evening descended around him.  He waited until the sky settled into a quiet blue.

            The old ship sat out on the water, listing a bit with age.

            Tom wondered again how much it would take to make the thing sea-worthy.  He added numbers in his head, planks and canvass, counted up hours of labor … and as usual gave up the fool notion when he considered his own age and arthritis.

            Tom sighed, feeling like that old listing boat: forgotten and falling apart in the late autumn evening on his life.  Ah, what he wouldn’t give to be back on the water with a wind from the west, the sun riding high, a hold full of fish, a fine pipe full of tobacco, and naught to do but spend the afternoon hours pulling for home across the gentle sea.

            He must have dozed.  He had not noticed Martha come down and settle in next to him.  She’d brought a cup of brandy for herself and one for him as well.  When he glanced over at her she smiled.

            The warm brandy filled his cold body as his wife laid her silver-haired head against his chest.  “Thinking about the sea again, you old fool?”


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