Ship Builder

A wrinkled face peers down from the cliff, watching as waves lap hungrily against the rocks. The man holds a single glass bottle enclosing a wooden ship. It has a crooked mast, bent and broken like him.

In better days he was young and strong. He sailed the world in the most beautiful of ships, laughing with the waves. His fierce hands, rugged and calloused, tugged at ropes and battled storms. Life was a wink at pretty ladies, a sheepish grin at the captain, an enduring love of the ocean.

Now, his knobby limbs can barely stand. He is all liver spots and bald head. Nobody loves him. He builds ships and imprisons them in bottles so that they suffer as he does.

Maybe I have one last adventure in me, he thinks with a toothless grin. Maybe I can sail the world again.

He throws the bottle down to the water and it shatters against the rocks. Freedom is his one last gift to the ship.

His hands rise into the air, fluttering like oversized moths. With a secret smile he bends forward and takes flight. There is laughter as he soars down to the violent swell below.

The End

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