The Coming and Going
A Short Story by K. L. Tabor
Written using the suggestion "Mission"
Originally featured on 10-29-2009
As part of our series "The Words That Seem to Justify Anything"

Me and the sea and nothing else but hollow wind and pungent air, sweet and pressured against my skin. And I thought I like it this way. How quiet is like a lead that pours into your bones and anchors you to the ground. I buried my feet, letting them take root, deep and dark and still beneath the earth, beneath the sand, turning into rock and rock to soil and back to sand again.


You drifted into shore. Your boat touching ground. Windblown and weathered in your small grey craft, you reached for an anchor to toss over the side. I watched you fumble before I pulled my big toe up from the ground and placed it on the bow of your boat. And gave a small push, because I didn’t want to scare you, and watched you drift back out to sea. Where I could look at you from a distance. And keep you moving back and forth across the waves, not too close, but still in sight, just in case.


I watched as you pulled out your binoculars to stare at me with owl eyes and a yellow sea slicker. You pulled a white flag from your pocket and waved it over your head to catch my attention. And I almost waved back, the reaction of a habit; because this felt familiar. White flags and ships that come in with the tide and go out with the ebb and leave trees rooted to the shore to listen to the quiet pour into their bones. I paused for a moment, my hand in the air, then placed it back down and turned my face to the wind. Warm and alive, pushing the clouds overhead. A darkened pretty grey against the pale blue sky, warm with the summer, untouched by the sea.

Read More By K. L. Tabor

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