This is Story One in my 2021 project, 38 Stories.
Parameters submitted by: Courtney Andrijich
Word Count: 300
Setting: Whaling Station
Genre: Love Story
If we hadn’t joined the same tour of the same whaling station for the same session on the same day, I may never have seen you again. You were with a girl with bony elbows. You blinked when you saw me. I blinked back. I was with my mother. She always despised you, but the bottom had fallen out of her senses by then. She didn’t recognise you. She hardly recognised me.
Bony Elbows tried to hold your hand. The guide had a cutting, nasal voice. I smirked at you when he said; “The whale blubber is stripped off in blankets,” because, well, how absurd. You smirked back but your eyes lifted to something behind me. Someone behind me. Hair Chewer.
I’d noticed him before I noticed you. He arrived alone and lurked at the back of the group. He chewed his hair. He touched a lot of stuff we weren’t meant to touch. He sniffed often. The glass cabinet he kicked to the ground sprayed my legs with shards. When I turned around, the reason was in his fist. A boarding knife. Used to poke holes in the blubber blanket to insert hooks and lift onto the boat. Basically, a sword.
He held it trembling above his head long enough for me to see it was rusting. Long enough for you to push Bony Elbows out the way and launch at him. People started to run. I shoved Mother towards the door with the crowd and watched you wrestle for the knife. It went up, then down, then crashed into another display. It went straight through your ribs. It came out the other side.
Sirens. Hair Chewer backed away and ran stumbling out the fire exit.
You blinked at me. I blinked back.
“I missed you,” you said.
Thanks for reading. Now I need you to submit!