Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Widow's Walk

The sun rose above the steel gray water, or rather the black sky turned a slightly lighter dark cloudy gray. Another day of waiting and watching was about to begin, just as had so many before, and likely to end the same way - looking out at an empty sea.

It had been over a year since they'd parted. He had hoped to earn enough money from this voyage to finally leave the sea and make a home for her and the child they both hoped would soon come. Perhaps he'd open a small shop near the harbor, selling provisions to the sailors off the ships. It would be a good life, a simple life. One they both dreamed of, talked about during the days before he sailed. Now the dream seemed to be slipping further away with each passing day. His ship was three months overdue. Three months she'd spent pacing the widow's walk as she searched for him, waiting to see the sails of his ship coming over the horizon, wondering if the widow's walk's very name had cursed her fate.

The woman sighed and pulled her shawl closer around her shoulders in a futile attempt to ward off the chill. With a heavy heart, she climbed the stairs. She reached the door at the top and turned the handle. With a deep breath, she stepped outside.

She saw nothing, just as she expected. After so many days of nothing she was becoming resigned to her fate. She'd been a fool to think that she would be one of the lucky few to escape the cruel fate of so many sailors' wives.

As she stared out at the unforgiving sea, a shape began to form on the horizon. She watched, not daring to let her mind form coherent thoughts. The shape began to grow, turning into a triangle pointing to the sky. Could it be? Yes, it was! A sail. But whose? She barely dared hope and stood riveted in place, watching.

The triangle was joined by another, and took on more definition. Soon she could no longer deny the joy that was leaping up from a place so long dormant she'd feared it too had died.

Suddenly she gasped and flew into action. There was so much to do! Straighten the parlour, change the bedding, air out her good dress, plait her hair! She had to hurry, it wouldn't take long for the ship to reach the harbor. For the first time in months she found herself singing as she raced down the stairs, hurrying towards her new life.

The Writers Island prompt for this week was over the horizon.

19 comments:

gautami tripathy said...

real life takes over. always. but then that is what makes us live. insightful post.

Lea said...

I felt myself gripping the rail of the widow's walk... waiting, wondering if anything would appear over that horizon and then a song was born. Beautiful Robin a great tale...

sandierpastures said...

I love happy endings! Great story, I like it!

keith hillman said...

What a great short story - and what a beautiful ending. I assume it was his ship!

paris parfait said...

Wonderful story! I've been in that position of longing and waiting, then the joy upon arrival. And you've described it all beautifully.

Redness said...

Ahhhh Excellent! Loved this ... short, to the point, splendid message, happy ending ...PERFECT!

Rambler said...

As she stared out at the unforgiving sea, a shape began to form on the horizon. She watched, not daring to let her mind form coherent thoughts. The shape began to grow, turning into a triangle pointing to the sky. Could it be? Yes, it was! A sail. But whose? She barely dared hope and stood riveted in place, watching.


such lovely use of words..

UL said...

What a beautiful tale Robin, full of hope to welcome the New Year, I hope it's him indeed returning to set up shop and having that second child and a happily ever after...I like the way you left it to the reader :) BTW, I loved the photograph of your little boy and girl...very nice. Thank you for sharing.

Robin said...

Thanks UL - it's one of a series of professional portraits I finally had done. My mother had been after me for years (they're not common here in Israel) and I finally prevailed upon a photographer friend to help me out.

Just Jen said...

A much happier story than I wrote...lol
Just beautiful...I was so hoping she would see the ship!

Janet said...

Thanks for such a beautifully happy story :-)

btw, LOVE the pic of your kids on the sidebar!

florescence said...

A lovely, hopeful story. Well done.

Preethi said...

A lovely tale... found myself hoping with her!!! Beautiful..

Over the Horizon

tumblewords said...

Well-written! I love this short piece.

Jeques said...

You're a very good story teller. You just know when, where and how to attack the emotions effectively.

I wish you well.

~ Jeques

Penelope Anne said...

This is beautiful...you can go to my writing page from my main blog for my first entry for Writer's Island.

I also added you to my Magnificent Mamas blogroll.

LittleWing said...

how beautifully you have told a lovely story....

Tammy said...

What a lovely romantic tale Robin. :)

Fourier Analyst said...

Lovely story, great images! You have talent Darlin'!