Stale

Sail on or paddle back?

Stale - Spectre of the Brocken: #title

Slumped and battered, a hangover’s weight bearing down. Remnants of her breakfast stuck to my face as she spewed her twisted accusations.

I imagined myself sailing off the coast of the Seychelle Islands. She, on the beach, busied herself with texts to her weekend admirer while “our” four-year-old played in the sand. 

The sun bathed everything in warmth. Melanoma lies in wait, glistening off the ripples, silently eager to kill. 

The sail, full mast, not a hint of wind in this calm eerie day, not a seagull bellowed, nor a fish jumped. The tide slapped without sound. Was this what peace felt like? 

The midday waning moon, faint yet visible, tickled my contemplation. Did the moon result from a cosmic collision, or was it engineered and built on the outskirts of Jupiter, then towed into earth’s orbit by some great ancient civilization wiped from the history books by our facetious leaders laughing at our ignorance?

Raising my head, I studied the shore, calculating how easy it would be to disappear. Lift the anchor, turn the sail into my luck-filled dead wind, and vanish into nothingness. 

I begged for a gust to sail me to the edge of the world, sail me towards salvation.

Others would kill for what I have. I suppose every man’s quest lies, then dies in his mind. God or whoever created this broken simulation, if you are ever so loving and appreciate my salvation, give me a puff from your lungs to sail me away from this place. 

Sail me to the moon.

The faint hiss of tinnitus fights for dominance between my ears. The seagulls’ stalk, fighting for rank to scramble an eventual snack plucked from my stiff, dead hand.

The boy’s laughter skipped over the riptide. What has he done but be born? 

Inhaling the salt-tinged air, I float, awaiting my divine intervention. Sentiments race. Thoughts have mass and weigh down the soul. To think is to sink. Seagulls live in the present; humans cannot, so we invented hope. Hope is our anxiety.

Maybe I’ll wait this out until they forgot about my existence. No more calls, no more nagging about the dishwasher being run or the garbage going out the night before. 

I crave life, but I also crave another, and another, until I want none of them. I earned my selfishness and narcissism, to be loved yet to stand at arm’s length. 

Breaking the mold to liberation, the quest for dignity when becoming a father, a husband, a leader, painter, sailor, or a money launderer.

At death, I’ll plead for a question mark to be branded on my forehead just before being burned at the stake for my sins. 

I am sonder in your play, yet I fight for this day to choose.

Sail on or paddle back?

She is still yelling. 

Stale: You can find this story in the collection “Spectre of the Brocken: Halo for the Observer.”

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Ran Kime Writer
Ran Kime, a writer, poet, musician and recluse from New Hampshire, crafts abstract stories, flash fiction & poetry that probe the psyche. His collections include “Spectre of the Brocken: Halo for the observer” and “Way Past Tipsy & Other Silent Cries for Help”.