The Whirlpools

The boy lives a solitary life at sea and writes his mother, as pain fills his soul... A one-chapter story

He trailed his fingers through the muck, forming furious brown whirlpools, unmoving yet ready for action. A bucket of clear spring water was perched precariously nearby, teetering upon the wraith of a branch. The boy shook his head.

"It doesn't have to be a whirlpool to be a whirlpool," he whispered solemnly. "I know..."

An bald-crested eagle soared over his head, calling out as if in answer. I understand! I understand!

The boy smiled. "Ah, Lu. Good old Lu. Fly on always! Never let them stop you." He felt certain that his friend understood, and satisfied, wandered over to his favorite tree- a mighty oak- which afforded much shade no matter how many degrees it was beyond. The smell of the sea brushed past his nostrils, kissing his face, reminding him of John Mason's poem. Many things did, really, since he had read it.

He rummaged for the Parchment.

"Ahh... here we are." A dismal sigh.

He licked his quill carefully, clearly procrastinating. Then he dipped it in the little black pot, the pot that was so intricately embroidered in gold, and began to write painstakingly in fancy cursive; legibility was not his forte.

Dear Mother-

The boy paused. He gazed up at the graying sky, a queer expression etched on his face. How to continue? Why? Why continue? There was no reason in the world to. There was no reason in the world not to. It was like living.

His quill was poised above the yellowed parchment, hovering, as if in limbo. It descended rapidly, forming a splotch, and several other splotches followed in fast pursuit. Then he crumpled the paper, gritted his teeth, and started anew.

Dear Mother,
I am faring very well.

Did that sound right? Was it wrong for him to be faring well when she was, well, as she was? But if he said he was faring badly, she would think he was complaining about his life despite the severity of hers...

The boy decided to go with what he had already written. He dipped the quill into the darkness of the pot slowly, enveloping the tip in a seething well of death. I think of the most dismal metaphors, thought the boy, but he went on.

I have found some friends here.

 Yeah, right. Well, there was Lu... it was only a semi-falsehood.

It's getting a bit difficult to make ink. Soon I will no longer be able to send you letters. In fact, this will be the penultimate parchment, as after the next one, I will have nothing to write on unless I chop down the Oak, and you know I would never do that.

The boy set down the quill again and inhaled sharply. Was there anything left to say? There was always something left to say. It was a problem.

You said you would visit today, but I'm not sure that will be possible. Don't worry about it.

No, worry about it! Worry about it! I'm your son...


Love,  Atticus

The boy lifted a ragged envelope from the sand, and it hung limply between his two fingers. He stared at the sea, allowing the gentle crash of the waves to fill his ears with music. Then he hurriedly stuffed the parchment in, not really caring how many wrinkles it acquired.

He missed Lu. He wished for some companionship, and his parent's fever was no excuse for its absence. If she was dying, well, so was he. She was his counterpart. They were each part of a two-piece jigsaw puzzle in which one could never see the picture in its glory without fitting the pieces together....

A familiar scent filled the boy's nose suddenly. He looked around.



His pleading voice echoed across the world, he supposed, but received no answer. Blackness was tangible everywhere. It was like hallucinating, but with sounds.

The boy eyed the mucky whirlpools with distaste and resentment.

"Aw, what the heck. Nothing really matters anymore."

Snatching the pail of water from its perch on the branch, he watched the clear liquid drown his heart.



(The End)

The End

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