Courting Deep Blue

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Post June 27, 2017, 07:55:36 AM

Courting Deep Blue

It had taken him months to learn to sail. Literally thousands of other ways to do this had presented themselves in that time. None appealed even half as much as what he envisioned.

The little old Mexican hadn’t wanted to sell his boat but relented when Eddie continued to take cash out of his pocket. Once he got to three thousand dollars the man was trembling. He took this as the sign that the price was right. So he stopped and thanked the old man for his time. He pocketed the money and said he would find another boat. The old timer sprang from his seat and grabbed Eddie’s arm asking him to sit back down. Knowing people was what Ed did. Knowing people was what lead to this end.

After having a quick drink with the elderly fisherman to seal the deal they parted company. Ed went to go launch his new little sailboat and José Luis to enjoy a day off arranging for a new boat. That was early this morning. If José Luis wondered why a gringo tourist wanted his beat up little boat so bad he never voiced it before they parted. If a crazy American wanted to come to El Marrón and over pay for an old boat a hundred times over then so be it.

He shoved off that morning and sailed for the day. He brought a small cooler for his food and a larger cooler for the necessities he would need at Guadalupe Island.

That first night he woke to the boat rocking. The weather was still when he looked up at the sky. The sea was calm when he craned his neck to look over the edge. Again the boat rocked as something passed underneath this time with a little ticking sound of some part of something clipping the boat. Whatever it was moving had to be large enough to make a disturbance significant enough to rock the boat just by passing.

Eddie sat up and glanced around. The moon cascaded down providing some ambient light. Some slight sound of the water being broken occurred but the slight breach stopped before it could be found by sight in such low light.

“Clever girl. You know I am coming don’t you?” The sound of the water cutting returned closer to the boat. “You came to meet me. Sweet, but unnecessary. We are doing this near the island on my terms. Go now and head back. I’ll see you there.”

The boat rocked once more as she passed beneath and then all sign of her was gone. She had waited forty five years for this and he knew she could wait another day. Eddie lay back down on the floor of the boat and pulled a nearby tarp over him as a blanket.

He glanced up at the stars and thought about how long he had known about her. There was always a feeling that she existed. While he was being born forty five years ago in Massachusetts, she was being born here in the Gulf. She had come to see him once. It was a long way literally across the globe less the distance of the North American continent. Eddie was fourteen. She was fully mature, huge by any standard even then but overly so for an east coast specimen.

There was no time when he had actually asked anyone to ever take him fishing. It was ridiculous as sport, the only place for it was as a source of food. Yet he knew she was nearby so he asked his mother’s boyfriend who had dragged him out on charters a number of times if they could go. It was a sacrifice due to the man’s despicable nature but needed to be done.

Off the coast of Cape Cod the group charter sat for hours getting nothing. The captain and crew insisted this was the best spot. It started to rain sideways and the port side was getting drenched while the starboard provided shelter, so everyone moved. Ed didn’t.

She swam up and breached her head. Her eyes were like black holes, endless galaxies. She was already near seventeen feet. The consideration to jump in and be with her right then crossed his mind. She didn’t want to eat him, but he knew if he offered she would accept. Leaning over the rail he pondered. When she came back around he leaned further and she breached up.

Hands grabbed his shoulders and pulled him back. Both he and the young deckhand landed along the bench seat mounted to the wall.

“Jesus Christ. Did you see it? What were you doing? It was huge!”

Eddie turned and looked at him. “See what?” He stood up and walked through the mid cabin of the boat and exited out the other side where everyone was unsuccessfully trying to get mackerel to take bait.

Of course the teenage crewman told the captain, who didn’t believe about the shark but still told the scum bag boyfriend to mind his responsibilities and not let kids hang over the side of the boat. This got Eddie hit in the back of the head. The young crewman never stopped staring at him for the rest of the trip.

After that he assumed she swam back around to the Gulf. He always knew she was out there but they lived their separate lives. She did what she needed to survive and grow. He went on with his life. Then when middle age hit when Ed was happily married with a couple of kids he adored a story came out on the news. Footage was captured of divers near a pregnant female great white which they estimated at nearly seven meters.

It was good to know she was doing well but he didn’t have the time to go out to the southern left coast just to see her again. Day to day responsibilities took up his attention.

Then they didn’t. The wife he loved and the kids he adored died. It was meaningless, a drunk driver who also died in the crash. The carefully constructed reality of everything he had crumbled in upon itself. He drank, he raged but nothing changed a thing. So he went to her.

Waking to the dawn he drew his bearings. He saw Guadalupe Island before midday. There was no question she waited there. Momentarily he considered seeing the island before he attended to his business. Quickly he realized it didn’t really matter. When he got within a mile of the east coast of the island he dropped the anchor over the side.

The wait wasn’t long, ten minutes perhaps then she swam under the boat. The sight was magnificent, the water was clear today. The immensity of her made it so it was nearly impossible to hide her lighter color sides from him at this depth. She passed him by and turned back getting even more shallow on the approach then turned. Eddie knew what she was about. She went forty feet off the bow then turned hard again. As she passed he leaned out over the side and rubbed her back. Closing his eyes he savored the rough skin scrape across his palm.

The marlin he had purchased from a sport fisherman and cut in half kept well in the large cooler full of ice. He lifted the lid and grabbed the bottom half pushing it over the side. It was small, possibly only three hundred pounds total. That was fine, it wasn’t meant to make her full. He was doing it just to show he cared. He pushed the second half over as well. It was doubtful another was intruding on her territory so she would get one and then the other. Both disappeared with only slight breaches. She was very stealthy for such a big girl.

There was no sense delaying the inevitable once his gift had been given. He rolled over the side and paddled away from the boat floating on his back. There was no choice in how we arrive to this world. If we are lucky enough we can exit on our own terms though. Life can be defined by the meaning we give it. Any moment his would end quickly in the way he chose, with one he always loved.
Remember: when people tell you something’s wrong or doesn’t work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong. – Neil Gaiman
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Post June 27, 2017, 03:34:48 PM

Re: Courting Deep Blue

Nice job overall, Eddie. You hung a great big "Why?" in the middle of everything and wrote the details around it. The analytic side of me says, "That's not how stories are supposed to ...", but you made it work anyway. Now my analytic is speechless and slightly embarrassed, while the rest of me is murmuring, "Waugh ... where'd that *come* from--?"

Really, my imagination doesn't go to places like that. I'm good for endless pedestrian details and everyday character emotions and reactions, but, "What's the story about?" "Guy falls in love with a shark and somehow knows it loves him back, and he wants it to eat him."


THE ...

I had a little trouble sorting out the characters, especially in the second paragraph, but that wasn't enough to ruin it for me, because you made the character motivation matter without explaining it.

Thanks for the ride.
I was raised by humans. What's your excuse?

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