The oyster shells shattered as his skiff slid up the shore, the scrapping noise sent shivers up Abram’s spine. There was no one on the beach, just the deserted fishing shack in between the dunes, sea oats blowing in the wind. This was no gentle breeze. The nor’easter had turned the wind against him and lowered the temperature to a bone chilling cold. His simple cotton attire did not shield him from this.
Hopefully the friend in the shack had a fire going, but there was no evidence of any occupant. He slowly approached the shack’s door. Knocking softly at first then intensifying to be louder than the howling end. The sea oats rapped against the weather beaten shiplap walls. Finally he pushed the door open. His eyes taking a moment to adjust to the dark room. In the corner a young boy cowered. “Hello friend. A friend of a friend has sent me for a package.”
The boy came out of the corner slowly. “A friend sent you?”
“I’m the package.”
“Gather your things. We need to sail before the tide drops.”
The boy look at him and stared blankly.
“We need to go. Do you have anything?”
He nodded and then scooped up a piece of blue and white cotton and started tying the corners to make it easier to carry. The boy’s fingers shook and refused to cooperate, the knot coming together.
Abram watched him struggle. “How about some food first?”
The boy jumped up, “Yes please. I haven’t eaten since I was dropped off. “
“Okay, I’ll gather some wood and get us some fish. You can sit over there.”
Abram left him standing in the middle of the small building. He didn’t have time for a child to slow their progress. The boy’s voice was too high to be older than 10. He would be assigned to a boat if he was his master’s. Abram could remember the day he left his mom and started on Master Robert’s fishing boat. He just turned eight. He couldn’t remember life off the shoals. He tossed out his net and drug it ashore. There were a few, it was enough.
This one will make it out. I will make sure.
All photos on the website are taken by Tammera Cooper and remain her property.