Mine, Mine! (or the Old Man and the Boat): A Flash Fiction Story

Updated on November 8, 2018
Jodah profile image

John has many years of writing experience in poetry, short fiction and text for children's books.

Mine, Mine!
Mine, Mine! | Source

I am a member of a group called 'Authors Community', and this competition/picture prompt was in the most recent newsletter.

"Fiction or Non-Fiction

What does this picture inspire in you? Fiction and non-fiction can be inspired from the same image. 1. Flash fiction 2. An opening story scene from a story 3. An inspirational non-fiction article

I'd like you to write a flash fiction piece (no more than 500 words), or a scene from a longer story (no more than 1,000 words), or an inspirational non-fiction piece (no more than 1,000 words)."

I was really drawn to the picture/painting and felt compelled to write a response. This short piece of Flash Fiction is my contribution. I thought my HubPages followers may enjoy the read. (see picture prompt below)

Source

Mine, Mine! (or The Old Man and the Boat)

The old man sat solemnly gazing at the rusted skeleton of the boat. The ‘Point Reyes’ had been part of his life for more years than he could remember. As a fisherman it had been his livelihood, his most treasured possession, but all that was in the past.

Oh, it was still part of his life, or what was left of it. His body felt like the ship looked … old, worn out, beached, useless.

He came every morning at sunrise, and in the evening when the sun was setting. At those times the Point Revere looked its best, the rusted hull seeming to co-ordinate with the oranges and greys of God’s colour pallet in the sky.

The fond memories were all he really had in life anymore.

Even an old park bench had found a use. It had been a struggle, but the old man had dragged it to a grassy spot as close to the boat as he could. It saved his aching back and allowed him to sit and contemplate longer. The fond memories were all he really had in life anymore.

Seagulls flew overhead, shrieking, “Mine, mine!” Where had he heard that line …some animated kid’s film? He smiled as he recalled, “Finding Nemo.” Now, every time he saw the gulls it seemed clear that’s what they were saying. Well, he thought, “The Point Reyes is mine, or what’s left of it at least.”

No one has climbed aboard the decaying hull to gaze inside...

The boat still stands there beached on the shore where it has sat dormant for years. Sunrises and sunsets come and go with their beautiful displays, and the seagulls still call. But, the old fisherman is nowhere to be seen. The park bench sits there, empty unless some stranger wanders by and sits to pause for awhile, wondering briefly how the ‘Point Revere’ came to be where it is and what it’s history held.

No one has climbed aboard the decaying hull to gaze inside to see the equally decaying body of its once proud owner, in now his final resting place. Or the small leather journal lying beside him, the last entry: “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, lay me down amid your rust. Whether the skies be cloudy or fine, Point Reyes’ you’ll always be mine, mine.”

Source

Author's Note

I felt the need to write something short and simple after my recent marathon series of The Innocents Abroad. I thought of writing a poem, but, this challenge was the perfect solution.

I don't expect to have the winning story (the 1st prize for a fiction and non-fiction story is an Authors Community T-shirt, 2nd and 3rd place getters are published in their newsletter) but it gave me some inspiration and was fun to write. I hope you enjoyed the read.

A Beautiful and Haunting Song

Questions & Answers

    © 2018 John Hansen

    Comments

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      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        3 days ago from Queensland Australia

        Oh Mary, thank you for your touching comment. It is sad when love ones die. I wish they never had to.

      • aesta1 profile image

        Mary Norton 

        3 days ago from Ontario, Canada

        Such a haunting story. It spoke volumes to me and touched my grieving heart. We wish things will stay as is, people we love not die but such is life.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        6 days ago from Queensland Australia

        Good to see you PoetikalyAnointed. Yes, it is a scene that sticks in most people’s heads. I was fortunate that it fit the scene I was trying to create here. Thanks for reading.

      • PoetikalyAnointed profile image

        PoetikalyAnointed 

        6 days ago from US

        Hello John, it's been a minute since I've stopped by your neck of the woods and I must say, Great work.

        I've always loved the "mine,mine" scene LOL so I appreciated the reference.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        6 days ago from Queensland Australia

        MsDora, I think this maybe the most emotion charged piece Imhave ever written, judging by the comments at least. I am glad the ending wasn’t too obvious and that you enjoyed it. Thank you.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        6 days ago from Queensland Australia

        Venkatachari, thank you for that wonderful comment. I was urlrised how easily this story formed in my mind as I gazed at the picture. It almost seemed to write itself. Glad you liked the journal entry and song as well.

      • MsDora profile image

        Dora Weithers 

        6 days ago from The Caribbean

        Imagination rises as I read, "But, the old fisherman is nowhere to be seen." Death was an option for sure, but not in the way you painted it. Emotions tug in so many directions. Touching!

      • Venkatachari M profile image

        Venkatachari M 

        6 days ago from Hyderabad, India

        A great story with full emotional touch. I liked the ending and the lines of the journal entry. You have done a beautiful piece as always.

        The song is also very relevant to the story and appeals a great message.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        7 days ago from Queensland Australia

        Flourish, I could feel emotions rise as I wrote this one. I hoped I captured it. Thank you for reading and enjoying.

      • FlourishAnyway profile image

        FlourishAnyway 

        7 days ago from USA

        John, I really liked this. It captured the resignation of aging, loss, identity and loneliness. Loved that last bit of poetry.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        7 days ago from Queensland Australia

        Ah Sean, my brother, thank you for sharing the words of that wonderful song. I will surely look it up and have a listen. Blessings.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        7 days ago from Queensland Australia

        Hello, ps. Thank you so much for stopping by and for your lovely comment.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        7 days ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you Nell. I always appreciate your comments and am happy you loved this piece.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        7 days ago from Queensland Australia

        Much appreciated, Manatita. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to write something about that picture. It beckoned me. Glad you liked the poem and song too.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        7 days ago from Queensland Australia

        Liz, I like that word “evocative.” I am glad you found it so.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        7 days ago from Queensland Australia

        Hi, Marlene, thank you for reading and for your kind comment. Glad you enjoyed this.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        7 days ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you, Linda. You are too kind.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        7 days ago from Queensland Australia

        Yes, I agree Shaloo, we writers can certainly get emotionally attached to our work, some pieces more than others. For me, this was one of those.

      • Sean Dragon profile image

        Ioannis Arvanitis 

        7 days ago from Greece, Almyros

        My dear brother, as I was reading your lovely story my head filled by the words and the music of a favourite song from a beloved band. The Waterboys - Fishermans Blues:

        "I wish I was a fisherman

        tumblin' on the seas

        far away from dry land

        and it's bitter memories

        castin' out my sweet line

        with abandonment and love

        no ceiling bearin' down on me

        save the starry sky above

        with light in my head

        with you in my arms..."

        I lived your words one more time! Thank you for this...

        Love gives Spirit to everything!

        Sean

      • pstraubie48 profile image

        Patricia Scott 

        7 days ago from sunny Florida

        Spot on....in my mind's eye I can see a similar boat...beachec and ignored from many years ago just down the creek from our home. And surely the gulls sang...mine mine. Always glad when I stop hete. Angels headed your way...ps

      • Nell Rose profile image

        Nell Rose 

        7 days ago from England

        I loved it! it brought the picture alive, nice one!

      • manatita44 profile image

        manatita44 

        7 days ago from london

        Cute and short and I loved that short poem. This is a picture, which, like Ann's, has huge potential for a Flash. Too much to do these days. The song is beautiful, all right.Peace bro.

      • Eurofile profile image

        Liz Westwood 

        7 days ago from UK

        This a very evocative piece of writing.

      • MarleneB profile image

        Marlene Bertrand 

        7 days ago from USA

        Short, but just the right length to accompany the photo and meet the challenge. I absolutely enjoyed your story.

      • Carb Diva profile image

        Linda Lum 

        7 days ago from Washington State, USA

        Beautiful how wove the two images together in one sweet story. This is a winner in my book.

      • swalia profile image

        Shaloo Walia 

        7 days ago from India

        It's really amazing how much emotionally attached we get to our profession. You have beautifully portrayed the emotional connect of the old man with his boat. Loved the piece!

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        7 days ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you, Bill. A thumbs up from you means a lot. Winning's not important.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        7 days ago from Queensland Australia

        Thank you, Shauna. I totally agree, what better resting place?

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        7 days ago from Olympia, WA

        Win or not, John, it's still a dandy worth reading. I love the mind of a writer!

      • bravewarrior profile image

        Shauna L Bowling 

        7 days ago from Central Florida

        Beautiful story, John. It's only befitting the old man deemed his ship as his final resting place.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        7 days ago from Queensland Australia

        Thanks Clive. Much appreciated.

      • clivewilliams profile image

        Clive Williams 

        8 days ago from Jamaica

        Great concept, easily enjoyable.

      • Jodah profile imageAUTHOR

        John Hansen 

        8 days ago from Queensland Australia

        What a lovely comment, Rinita. Thank you so much for your constant support and encouragement. I don't care if I win either. The fact I could use it here and have it appreciated is enough for me. Glad you liked the little bit of poetry at the end too.

      • Senoritaa profile image

        Rinita Sen 

        8 days ago

        I must say this was your best flash fiction I've read so far, John. I am so glad you took up this challenge, and turned it into gold, yes, as golden as the descriptions of the sky coordinating with the rusty boat, as golden as the poetry imbibed in the end (the best part), and as golden as the emotion that the whole set up stirred. I do not care if you win the contest or not, you've already won hearts through this piece.

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