The Waste (XII)

Five years passed after the fish falsification fiasco, during which several interesting developments occurred.

The first of note, is that Furous found the trajectory of his career choice as a fisherman redirected, and after the incident, his role was led to that of repairman. He found himself abruptly under the tutelage of a rope maker.  Very little was heard from the braggadocios youth after his attempted manipulation, and Furous found himself content with his daily repairs and maintenance, preferring his new opportunity to banishment from the village.  While the intensity, and anticipation of usurping Allamar’s chieftainship was still fresh, there were a few others who brought in large catches, though none were remotely close enough to challenge Allamar’s accomplishment.

Secondly, under the guidance of Allamar’s chieftainship, the village flourished greatly.  The mercantile populace was encouraged to explore new areas and to seek new villages with which to partner, which they did.  In their exploration, new tools and items became available to the small village.  New educational materials were found, and pored over by Allamar, his counsel, and any others who wished to expand their knowledge.  In this time, their social interactions, were improved upon as a result of their knowledge, and though the traditions of the village were maintained, they found that they also experienced subtle changes in their artistic and cultural expressions.  Technologically, there were several developments, that increased their fishing yields, allowing them to trade these surpluses for better equipment, clothing and materials, and for the village to begin to bank currency.  Taking advantage of the progress and fortuitous bounty of these advancements, the village began to expand inland from the waterfront, with the clearing of land, and construct of solid, earth and stone based structures.

Thirdly, Abigail continued to develop as a woman, and in the years since the farce, grew by great measures more intelligent, and by leaps and bounds more  desirable.  She had access to her fathers resources, and utilized them with an unmatchable zeal.  All of the books, documents, letters, etchings, notes, every scrap of parchment with a marking upon its surface, she devoured.  When new material came in on the ships from trades, she was first at the docks requesting a viewing.   She snuck away from the main house to help cut down trees on the adjoining land, to make way for the new houses.  She helped solidify the foundations, and helped to form the walls.  Abigail, pestered the craftsmen, and inquired of their trades.  Most just shooed her away in the infancy of her inquiries, but persistence of the chief’s daughter wore down even the most stubborn villagers, and in time they found themselves divulging their most intricate and expertly developed trade skills.  Despite all of her pleading, sweet-talk, promises of remuneration, insistence that she “wouldn’t tell a soul,” assurances that she would “sit quietly and not say a word,” and admissions that “she just wanted to see what it was like out there,” not one of her fellow villagers would take her to fish.

Then, Abigail fell in love.

Having absorbed what she felt was sufficient knowledge of the inner workings of the village, she was perturbed at experiencing a formidable stonewalling at the docks, so she abandoned her efforts to master the skills of the village.  She ignored the tradesmen who maintained the boats, fixed the nets, and repaired the houses.  She shunned the merchants, and regarded their regular returns to the village, books and baubles in hand, as fleeting distractions. She stopped listening to the council meetings through the walls of her families house.  She tried to get out of her regular household chores, and daily homemaker tutelage, and would have, rendering the mid-morning portion of her time discordant with her wantonly adventurous nature, were Zara not such an insistent force, an equal of magnitude, if not a more formidable match to her father.

As much independent time as she could siphon from each day, she funneled into the pursuit of that which she was denied.   Though she had read a few of the books the merchants had brought back from their travels on boatmanship, she was barred from the actual experience.

She scurried around the docks in the middle of the night like a hungry rat, hoping for a scrap or two of food, in the form of sailing knowledge scavenged from the dead of the night.  She walked the docks at daylight, asking bothersome questions of the weary fisherman, heads full of morning fog, a lifetime of repetition their only counter to the haze of the grey morning blanket. She wandered the boards during the day, hopeful that a fisherman caught ill, that she may examine his craft in the day light, without being caught and interrogated by her fellow villagers. She approached the fisherman at their return, when the sun began its descent in the periwinkle sky, and begged to help assist with their docking, imploring to assist with their daily catch, or weak catch failure, pleading to carry their kit from the boat, requesting to scrape accumulations from their boats.   Despite all her efforts, the mysteries of the waterways remained closed to Abigail.

Yet, perhaps motivated by the inherited blood in her veins, she continued to pursue an understanding of the village fisherman and the sea.

And, somewhere close to five years after Furous falsified a claim of having a catch that exceeded Allamars great fish, Abigail’s persistence at the docks paid off.  She arrived at the docks, just as the fisherman were prepping their boats to sail out from the village.  The sun rose in the distance, climbing on invisible rungs in the sky, pushing the hazy, grey, malaise from the world, and dispelling the steam from atop the waiting water.

Abigail tried to assist several fisherman by untying their boats from the dock.  She tried to assist with loading nets and rods into boats.  She tried to have dialogues with her fellow villagers, to glean knowledge, and to offer encouragement. She offered extra food to the fisherman, and assistance if they would simply take her with them.

But they all knew Abigail, and they knew that she was Allamar’s daughter.

So, they set off from their jettys, without accepting any of her help, sailing into the orange tinged haze, a line of small craft fisherman.  They glided towards the horizon, staring away from her, each a strong, competent fisherman.

Dejectedly, Abigail stared at her fellow fisherman, sliding across a dark mirror towards a rising, rose-tinted horizon, and sighed.

Then, one of the sailors turned his head back towards her and the shore, and Abigail swore, she could see him smile.

 

 

Leave a Reply