OLWG · writing

OLWG# 236- Down to the Sea in Ships

Flash, Flash, and Flash written for OLWG# 236



Constable Peters looked up at the widow Houston on the roof of her home at the harbour entrance. She stood with her hands on the black, cast iron railing atop the house, her gaze fixed on the horizon.

“Miz Houston?” he hollered up at her. “How long are you planning to stay up there? He’s not coming back. He’s been gone now nigh seven years, come on down.”

She looked down at Peters. First, she raised her right forearm, and then she slowly elevated the middle finger of her right hand. When she was sure that he had noted the gesture, she dropped it and turned her attention back to the sea.

##

‘Twas the wee hours, and few were awake in the harbour town. Laurence Houston leaned back against the headboard and wrapped his arm protectively around his bride. Her head rested on his chest – a tear rolled down her cheek.

“I still love you, Martha,” he intoned, “my leaving doesn’t mean I don’t love you, but I’m a sailor. I have to do this. When I get back, we’ll be rich, richer than you could ever dream! Hudson will send you money. All of your needs and this house will be well taken care of, until I return.”

##

Martha had been alone for years. She didn’t like it, but such was the lot of a sailor’s wife. She had just dished up a bowl of chowder when the constable tapped on the door.

“Come inside, Mr Peters. I’m just dishing up lunch. You’re welcome to join me.” She turned and headed down the wide hallway back towards the kitchen. Peters tailed along behind her.

She had a bowl of chowder in her hand when he broke the news. It shattered when it hit the ground.

Without a word, Martha ran to the staircase and leapt upwards, heading for the roof. Peters heard the latch turn when she locked the door at the foot of the stairs. He went out to the garden. He knew where she was heading.


This week’s prompts were:

  1. doesn’t mean I don’t love you
  2. c’mon down
  3. shattered when it hit the ground