Sep 8, 2009 by

Read OLAF 1 here

Read OLAF 2 here

Read OLAF 3 here

Round 4 Challenge: Weave an element of Fyor’s story into your passage. It should be no more than 450 words.

By sunset the Lordy Lord was in coastal waters. The sky had clouded over but there were holes in the cloud cover. In places the sun shone through and made pools of orange radiance in the gray water.  The vessel moved in and out of these scattered spots.  One moment it was dark and gray and then the bow would pass into a wall of light that would advance sternward in a clean diagonal line until the whole boat was bright and orange.

There was an unnatural brightness to the light, as if digitally manipulated. He reckoned it was the pollution from the Eastern seaboard. Pollution wasn’t without its charm. Next time someone gave him hell for burning plastic he’d point to the spiral of stinking smoke and say it was for the sunsets.

It had been an unnatural year. Four swordfish had been harpooned within twenty miles of the Gulf of Maine. It was rare to see them up inside like that. Usually they were 200 or 300 miles offshore out by Georges Banks and Grand Banks. And then there were the tropical storms that had swirled everything up. Fish that used to be southwest of Platt’s Bank could be 50 miles northeast. It was a crapshoot out there.

But nothing like the crapshoot he was steaming towards right now. He was ready though. It was time to unbury the past. Once Ron set his mind on something there was no turning back.

Ron had never turned back from his teenage decision to reject his dysfunctional upper class family and lawman’s future and take up a seaman’s life. But it wasn’t easy. He’d had to fight the whole way. Climbing down the social ladder proved as hard as climbing up. The other fishermen initially saw him as a trust fund brat with preppy illusions about working class life. When he outworked the best of them, it quieted them down some, but not much.

It wasn’t until Lev stabbed their father to death that the gibes ended. The community could have ostracized him, driven him out. Instead, they welcomed him in. The spoiled brat cliché didn’t hold water anymore.

His eldest brother Jacob, meanwhile, went the other way. He detached from the world and vanished into his online gaming universe. Ron rarely heard from him. As for Lev, he’d served his time and was now, against all odds, the manager of an Olympus camera store.

Ron knew he carried within him the seeds of his dead father’s temper and alcoholism. They often wreaked havoc on his private life. But this time he wasn’t going to give in to them. He had unfinished business at hand.

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  1. I think this is developing nicely. Its getting interesting Olaf.

  2. This just keeps getting better and better! Am dying to know the rest of story, namely what Ron’s about to write to Olga. I feel like I’m watching an espisode of Grey’s Anatomy, it’s cliff-hanger every time.

  3. Grey’s Anatomy… hospital sitcom right? I do watch House. It’s about the only TV show worth netflicking.

  4. Just read your reviews, Dan. Well done. I like how you say what’s on your mind without mincing your words.

    Ron wasn’t speaking lightly about it being an unnatural year. There was a Great White sighting tuesday off the East side of Monomoy Island (southeast corner of Cape Cod). Here are some photos of a harpooner tagging the shark for scientific purposes. I hear Chatham’s all abuzz over it.

  5. craig

    do something

  6. I would if you were right here in front of me. I can’t throw my harpoon through cyberspace.

  7. Bravo Olaf.

    I loved this …. such a difference to the sparseness of your previous entry. I enjoyed reading your descriptions of the light and the sky – feel as though it foreshadows or mirrors something of Ron’s life – plunging from darkness to light.

    And it was a bit of a twist – Ron’s my Dad’s name and not necessarily a name you seen bandied about much.

    It was an exceptionally clever weaving in of the Fyor’s element whilst twisting nicely into your existing narrative. It tells us lots about Ron’s character in few words – and perhaps why he was drawn to the wildness of the sea.

    More of this please!

  8. Back at you Jodi. I would have never thought of steaming through a sunset that way, but I like it. I like it.

    Your father must be a good man.

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