The broken seas

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Tristan offered the crew a wave, then coughed, "this is George. He's gonna teach us how to fish!". The crew studied the wrinkly old man's glossy eyes and scarred hands. Creed tiptoed closer to him and slowly poked the man's forehead. Before he could, Tristan caught his hand and flashed a smile that was full of anger. He silently took a step back and threw his arms in the air, signaling his surrender. To stop any further fights, Jackson clapped the attention on to himself, " So, George, let's get to it!". His massive grin gave an odd amount of comfort to the crew.

Even though his demeanor was weak and eyes glossy, his voice became stiff. "Right. The first thing you need to know about fishing is you must become one with the waves. While holding Tristan's arm, he straightened his back, inhaled a large gust of air, then swayed alongside the waves.


He slowly released Tristan's arm and moved with the boats churning. His breathing matched the winds. His arms followed the waves. He acted as if he was a part of the ocean, and the crew was mesmerized. Sam watched the man with wonder in her eyes. Elizabeth studied the erratic movement of his arms. Tristan gleefully observed his friend. Jackson lost himself in the movement, a glimpse of his real emotions shined through his forced smile. Delilah and Jason noticed Jackson's pain, they shared a look of concern.

With a final exhale of air, George whispered, " the ones who are fishing, do that". After losing his hypnotic state, Jackson laughed sinisterly, " we only have two spears, anyone who doesn't fish now is going to help make more... then learn to fish". Needless to say, his words were enough to have everyone shoot their hands in the air. George laughed playfully at the youthful innocence, then he pointed at Sam and Tristan. "You two, follow me". He grabbed hold of Tristan's arm, then shuffled off to the side of the boat.


While Jackson forced the crew to make workable spears, George stopped by the railing. While relying on the railing, George muttered, " tell me what you see". Tristan and Sam shared a look then replied in unison, "...the ocean". George let out a deep sigh of disappointment. " this is the problem with our generation. You never look past the obvious". Using one arm to rely on the railing, he waved his other arm to show off the world. "Don't you see the fish swimming in schools, the sunset reflecting against the waves, the clouds painting the sky, the moon silently replacing the sun, the birds dancing in the sky?". A toothy grin grew on his face. " can't you see the colors mixing together to paint the horizon?".

While Tristan studied the horizon, it was if a question mark appeared over Sam's head. She put her lips close to Tristan's ear and whispered, "what does this have to do with fishing?". Tristan turned his head toward her and offered a shoulder shrug. George laughed loudly, " I might be old and weak, but my senses are still good little lady". While locking his eyes on the horizon, he spoke softly, " it has everything to do with fishing. You need to watch everything, every subtle movement matters. Then, when the moments right, you strike!". Suddenly, he grabbed the spear out of trust and hand and threw it into the water. After piercing four fish onto the spear, he tugged the rope, bringing the spear and fish back into his hand. He offered the fish coated spear to Tristan with a smile. "Now you try".


While Sam instantly threw her spear into the waves, Tristan started by taking in a deep breath. George let out a deep sigh. " little lady, you need to appreciate-". Before he could finish his sentence, Sam pulled her spear out of the water, and it held double the amount of fish George had pulled out. While he was stunned, he grumbled, "... Show off". Tristan threw a fit of laughter and the other two followed. Sam's eyes watched the churning tides while laughing, " before I got separated from my Dad, he taught me how to fish with a spear". She pulled out enough fish to fill two barrels then climbed up to the crow's nest.

With her gone, her position was filled by the rest of the crew, who happened to finish their spears. George watched as everyone in the crew, except Elizabeth, enjoyed learning to fish. Shocked, George asked, "Aren't any of you going to check on the little lady?". The crew looked amongst each other, finally, Delilah explained with a smile: "when someone goes up to crow's nest, it means they want to be alone".


After an hour of not catching anything, Elizabeth threw down her spear and yelled, " why didn't we just make nets!". Jason laughed to himself before reminding her, "Elizabeth, this was your idea...". After they took a moment to process the scene, they all burst out laughing, which called Sam to climb down and rejoin the crew.

They spent the rest of the afternoon watching the horizon joking with one another and all in all, enjoying the moment, but as night rolled in, so did a dreary fog coating the sea. Deep within the fog, a silhouette of a ship as broken and tattered as their own called out to the stranded crew.


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