Old Sailor



Old Sailor by Jack Butler Yeats

The wind cut into his skin and grey skies pressed down on the rotting town, but at least he was home. He had paced the deck of many a vessel, dreaming of the day when his sea legs would once again put down on the cobblestone streets of his birth.

In those dreams he was met by cheering hoards. His proud mother at the helm. Caught up in their clamor and whisked back to the house that saw him born. Set before sumptuous tables filled with fresh fruits, meats and bread. Lavished over. A veritable god returned from the seas.

But aye the sea, both brute and bride, had swallowed whole his youth and watched him whither long before she spat him out on the dank, cold streets of this place he once called home. So alone he stood long after the joyous clamor died down, and cheering hoards subsided.

With a months wage in his pocket and not much more than the stories he had lived to tell in the pack on his back,  he set out in search of a fireside, a pint of ale, and an ear. To be filled with tales of his home. The sea.

This old seaman’s tale was written in 50 word increments and contains MLMM’s First Line Friday prompt “The wind cut into his skin and grey skies pressed down on the rotting town, but at least he was home.”

14 thoughts on “Old Sailor

      • I worked with a fellow who’d been one of the North Sea Rigs supply-ships (they put out from Yarmouth), on the night of our most memorable gale… a gale that cut a swathe of torn-up trees across Southern England. I always get the year wrong, but I think it was 1987. Anyway, one lunchtime he regaled me with the story. Gulp! I cann’t begin to imagine it.

        Liked by 1 person

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