Welcome to Flash Fiction Friday and the eighty-third piece in this series. This week’s is a 399-worder by YA, science-fiction, paranormal author and poet Kenna McKinnon. This story will be podcasted in episode 28 (with three other stories) on Sunday 30th June.
The Sea And His Guitar
The pain was electric music in his gut, placated by Morphine. He slept until the stranger and friend awoke him to speak with him.
“Your son… the boy you never knew. Your mother’s grandson and estranged. Sad.”
“I met him at Brewsters and explained I couldn’t help it, the absences, the silence, they were imposed on me.”
“He knows that?”
“I don’t know. My son plays guitar, too. Electric. My mother bought him his first guitar.”
“The black acoustic and the Godin are mine.”
“You have three amps and one is real nice, a vintage 1960s Vox you got from Craig’s List.”
“No, I got it from Kijiji. I live in Alberta, Kijiji’s big here. I took the bus to the guy’s place, paid him cash on the spot.”
“I see the posters, can peek out the window at the street and the sun when the drapes are open like now.”
“You’re miles from the ocean but I see your favorite ocean videos on Netflix, Van Gogh and the Scream on your old wall.”
“Yes, I like the sea and the Scream. I like the stars. My sister lives in Vancouver. We went whale watching a couple of times; took a lot of great photos, and saw the Aquarium. The jellyfish were my favorites, beautiful colors and shapes.”
“Did you want to go back some day? Live there?”
“Too much on the fault line and too far from home. I’m a home body.”
“Too bad. The sea is our mistress.”
“Yes. Music is our mistress, too. The stars and the Scream.”
The cream colored Vox amp stood in the corner, unused by his son after he surrounded himself by the ocean; the wild dark sea and the music, dived into the night of the underworld and swam to the other side of the Universe where the stars blazed and the Scream was left behind.
“I have my memories,” his son said to the grandmother later, and declined a recent photograph of the handsome young man in his forties, face illuminated and eyes wise and humorous.
We all have our memories, the guitar still sang – his black acoustic instrument in particular – sang in the hands of a stranger and friend, who moderated the father’s celebration of life when the sea and the Light claimed him again, back to the bosom of Unconsciousness and no more pain.
I asked Kenna what prompted this piece and she said…
I wrote this story after my second son, 44 years old, died of esophageal / stomach cancer on September 21, 2012. He was a good man and a wonderful support to me all his life. He is dearly missed and loved. I know he is now in the Light of God and free of suffering. Rest in peace, Steve.
I’m sorry to hear about your son. Writing is very therapeutic so I’m sure it helps. Thank you, Kenna, for sharing your story with us.
Her website is http://www.kennamckinnon.blogspot.ca and her poetry anthology ‘Discovery’ and novels ‘SpaceHive’ and non-fiction book ‘The Insanity Machine’ are available from http://www.amazon.com/Kenna-McKinnon/e/B008M9WITM and http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kenna-McKinnon/e/B008M9WITM.
If you’d like to submit your 1,000-word max. stories for consideration for Flash Fiction Friday take a look here or for the online writing groups (links below).
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