Fishing Nets

  Little Tommy sat with his grandpa on the end of a rickety wooden pier on the outskirts of his village. They sat with the fishing boat below their feet, bobbing up and down as the waves gently licked the flaking paint from the sides with a sharp popping sound.

  Over their laps rested a stinking fishing net, riddled with the holes of a hard weeks fishing. Grandpa showed him the correct way to tie the broken ends in tight knots to repair it. Tommy watched as the man’s wrinkled and pruned fingers worked with robotic accuracy, weaving in and out and pulling it tight, a perfect repair.

  With several tries, Tommy managed to get it to work, and Grandpa left him to tend to the rest of the net, he was proud…he could finally work like a grown up. He relished in the task and kept hard at work until the sun began to fall and his best friend Jennifer came to the pier and sat down next to him.

  She stared at the setting sun and rested her head on Tommy’s shoulder, young love. Her long ginger hair flowed in cascades across his back and chest. He finished the net and took Jennifer’s hand. He helped her stand up and she walked off of the pier at his side.

“Say, Jenny…when I’m grown up, lets get a fishing boat together, then we can spend the whole day fishing and playing.” He said, smiling from ear to ear.

“I like that idea, I don’t like the smell of nets though.” she laughed, putting her hand over her nose, they both laughed.

 

                                                      *         *         *

 

  Jennifer managed to sneak her new boyfriend aboard, Tommy had been busy up on the deck with his fishing all day, that all he ever did was fish…he never had time for her. Max loved her, he touched her in ways Tommy had done only in her dreams. Making love to the smell of fishing nets never excited her, she hated that smell.

  They tore their clothes off and became entangled like the salt drench rigging on the wave washed deck. He smelled fresh, cleanly washed with a rustic wooden smell; she ate it in…letting herself become encased in its warm comforting scent.

  They didn’t hear the thud of his boots or the opening of the door, or the gasp followed by the growl. She caught him in the corner of her eye, a dark monolith in fishing waders. Shadows of desperate hate were cast deep in his eye sockets, a silhouette against the greying skies outside. 

  Something hung from his hands, an open shotgun. He pushed two shells in and crunched it shut. Drips of salt water run from his waders and bubbled to the floor. Max acted liked a shield over her when the gun went off, she screamed and pushed the naked corpse off of her.

  The dark man moved in long strides, dropping the gun and reaching out to her. Not a word was said, silence staved away by nothing other than the churning waves outside

  He grabbed her arm and took a net that was drying on the wall. Just like grandpa had shown him, his fingers knotted the net around her…trapped her naked figure like a chrysalis. She caught a glimpse of his face, rough and ravaged with stubble. His mad eyes shone from the darkness and stared into hers, setting her soul ablaze with fear and guilt.

  She closed her eyes and wept as he emptied a can of fuel across the room. After drenching the whole room she opened her eyes to see him standing at the entrance of the door.

“Whore…” he growled under his breath.

  He struck a match and threw it into the room. Snakes of flame slithered through the room and began to approach her, through the smoke she saw him walking calmly to the lifeboat, lighting a pipe in his mouth.

  She hated the smell of nets.

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