Animal Stories...

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Kathy Writes To Prompt

The Five Word Prompt included the words: midnight, cup, dainty, frigid and solo.

Is there a story contained in those words? What arrangement or alchemy can make it appear? If you are a fiction writer, it is a given that you have an imagination. All you need is a trigger and the desire and confidence to pull it.

This story lay in my subconscious, fiction absolutely, but ready to be triggered by recent experiences.

Roscoe’s Mug
by Kathy Coogan

Marcie stood at the wheel, leaning lightly against it. She could feel the purr of the engines in her belly. With her right hand she made a slight adjustment to the port engine, synchronizing it to the starboard one. Her boat talked to her through its every vibration. Its every sound communicated its needs to her. The gauges which glowed green in the midnight darkness merely confirmed her instincts.

The breeze had chilled, as it does over the water, becoming frigid in the September dark. Though she was cold, she left the windscreen down for better visibility. Her night vision had been diminished by the shore-lights. She concentrated to better see the channel markers that would guide her through the jetty. She pulled back on the throttles and looked toward the stern to see that she was throwing no wake as she entered the man-made stone-edged canal, only a football field wide.

No other boats were moving through the water but there were night fishermen perched on the rocks, competing with the pelicans and gulls. She slowed more, her right hand on both controls, nimble with experience; her left holding steady on the wheel. One macho fisherman removed his cigar from his lips and wolf-whistled in her direction, perhaps surprised to see a solo woman returning from sea at this time of night. She lifted a hand in salute, used to it.

She sipped from her rubber-bottomed thermal mug, as her boat held its line between the channel markers. The cup, like Marcie, was sea-worthy, rarely shifting unless the waves were high. Unlike Marcie, it was heavy-bottomed and thick, while Marcie had been called dainty by folks who didn’t know her.

Next to her mug was Roscoe’s, which she hadn’t had the heart to pitch into the sea with his ashes. He had been a fine companion for twelve years, but when he was no longer able to board from the swim platform or hop onto the bench beside her, she knew that something had to be done.

She had waited too long, leaving him at home in his bed, until the day finally came when he could no longer rise to greet her as she arrived home. Mike had gone with her to put Roscoe down and had offered to accompany her to spread Roscoe’s ashes just outside the jetties. She had said no. She wanted to do this alone.

As she eased into her slip she felt the boat nudge and settle against the bumpers. This was always Roscoe’s signal to leap off the boat onto the dock, triumphant, barking with exuberant joy. She tied off the lines, gave them a final tug against the freshening wind and walked up the ramp carrying Roscoe’s mug.

Another of Kathy's Stories

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