The Old Man and the Island

My latest from The Angry Hourglass Volume 68 based on the prompt below. Click here to read Catherine Connolly’s winning story.

Château d'If, Marseille vu de la navette des Iles d'Or
Château d’If, Marseille vu de la navette des Iles d’Or

He sat there, debating whether or not to go out to sea. The weather was fair enough, but he could not decide, as he sat there, debating, whether or not the effort it would take would be worth it.

He was, after all, an old man now and his muscles, big as they were from oaring himself over such great distances, still ached.

Though unlikely, he hoped something had change and couldn’t risk not knowing, of missing his chance.

They first met a great many years ago, long before any sign of time wrinkled their flesh or greyed their hair. Little time passed before they fell in love. Looking back on it, there, as he pondered, he remembered first falling in love at the sight of the little corner of her lip tighten in an almost imperceptible curl. Sometimes he even recognized it when he, out on the open ocean, paused to take a breath and the water eddied that all too familiar way it did around the oar.

Then one day she moved away, found herself an island, she who required space.

So he set out to find her and find her he did, there upon a large hill at the island’s center. He saw her first, smiled and waved, then let his eyes fall to the stone wall she’d begun to erect around her little island.

He sailed around the island, seeking a place he might dock, but found none. He called out to her, but the waves, crashing upon the wall as they did, drowned him out and he, chin to chest, rowed the great distance back home.

Day after day, he went to her, his love, only to find the wall that much taller until one day, after many a year of going out just to see her from his little dinghy, he found the wall she’d built had outgrown the hill.

The years went by and he hoped by then the waves, much like his efforts, would have eroded the wall just enough he could squeeze through.

But it never did.

And so he sat, debating whether or not to go out to sea.

2 thoughts on “The Old Man and the Island

  1. profound

    1. penetrating or entering deeply into subjects of thought or knowledge; having deep insight or understanding: a profound thinker.

    2. originating in or penetrating to the depths of one’s being; profound grief.

    3. being or going far beneath what is superficial, external, or obvious: profound insight.

    4. of deep meaning; of great and broadly inclusive significance: a profound book.

    5. pervasive or intense; thorough; complete: a profound silence.

    6. extending, situated, or originating far down, or far beneath the surface: the profound depths of the ocean.

    7. low: a profound bow.

    noun, Literary.

    8. something that is profound.

    9. the deep sea; ocean.

    10. depth; abyss.


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