Monday, January 26, 2009

traffic (the start of something)

Linden trees emblazon in amber and gold along the banks of Nærøyfjorden near Gudvangen, Norway. (2007).

Jack cast his lure into the still water in front of him. A small splash ensued. Satisfied, he sat down with both his feet hanging over the edge of the weathered pier, and waited.

October now, tall lindens emblazoned both banks of the fjord in fists of amber and gold. Overhead, a mist obscured the view of a thousand steep metres to the top.

Down below, the fish weren't striking, but Jack didn't care. He waited.

After some time, the silence of the valley was broken by the rhythmic rip of oars on water, out of sight beyond the elbow of the fjord.

Stroke, stroke, stroke ... in rising Doppler crescendo.

Stroke, stroke, stroke ... until, at last, she appeared.

A wooden rowboat painted in sapphire and spring. Marsaxlokk, Malta. (2008).

Sanna glided alongside the pier in a rowboat painted sapphire and spring.

"Catch anything?" she asked.

"No, you scared all of the fish away," Jack playfully countered.

Sanna frowned teasingly and crinkled her nose. Jack got up and stretched his aching back, then knelt down again to hold her boat steady against the side of the pier.

Sanna stepped out with picnic basket in hand. She had won the basket, years ago, finishing first in a footrace somewhere in the south of Sweden.

"Hungry?" she asked.

Jack nodded.

Sanna unfolded a checkered blanket onto the pier and seated herself overlooking the water. Jack came over and sat down behind her, facing the opposite direction in view of the mountainside. He leaned his back against hers.

The soothing warmth of Sanna's back ran deeply. Jack swallowed and closed his eyes.

Smiling, Sanna reached into the picnic basket, and handed Jack a sandwich above their touching shoulders.

"This is fun, isn't it?" she asked.

"It is," Jack replied.

And he really meant it, too.

Editor's note: The characters and events of the preceding story are fictitious, unless they aren't. Traffic (The Start of Something) is based on Ernest Hemingway's semi-autobiographical short story, The End of Something, which you can read here in its entirety.


  1. Maybe Sanna and Jack could have a guest appearance on your simulated reality Tv life?? I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

  2. This woodwn row boat picture is really neat.

  3. Anonymous ... the editor says there are no immediate plans for any new My Simulated Reality TV Life episodes, but in the future, who knows? Stranger things have happened ...

    Runrui ... thanks, that photo is another outtake that's been doing nothing but sitting on my hard drive ...