Short Story: The Angels Take a Vacation Part I
Relaxation and Recreation
I wrote this story with several ideas in mind which I wanted to present in print with an amusing touch. Taking a break from our worries benefits our health. Vacations recharge the mind, and we need time to look at our true responsibilities. This serial is not based on biblical descriptions of angels, but rather it is a lighthearted look at our responsibilities in this world, and possibly beyond. This is the first episode of this story where Mark begins to understand supernatural forces can influence our lives. Enjoy: “The Angels Take a Vacation: Part I.”
The Angels Take a Vacation: Part I.
Mark was deliriously calm. The quiet was maddening, but the sun was startling, hanging in the sky, not wanting to set, looking like the beginning of a day as the evening began to claim its time. The light of the day would have a temporary vacation. Mark smiled, thinking that’s what he should have done long ago. But he didn’t take a vacation.
He worked for tedious hours, hurrying people across the country highways and roads between Raleigh and God knows where else. People went to schools, shopping, or took little trips all over in his taxi. Mark thought it went on forever. He was tired of driving the cab and wanted to rest.
Bills wouldn’t stop though. His son needed braces, Nicole needed her goods – groceries, clothing, and her cell phone. She pointed out to Mark that these were essentials not luxuries. Mark thought she was exaggerating and he could have done without any of these things. Mark felt that sometimes, even food wasn’t something he could bear to desire. All his waking hours were eaten away by responsibilities, leaving him hungry for relief.
Now, he tossed the bait from his fishing pole into the clear water of this dock where he sat. He marveled the crystal blue colors of the water. He imagined the fish he would catch: trout, grouper, or something grander. He didn’t know what was out there. He just knew he was doing what he wanted for a changed.
He chanced a glance to his right where a dad was playing with his son in the sands. Mark thought about John, his seven year old boy, wondering how he was doing tonight. He wondered if his son would forgive him for giving up, for walking pout, for running away. How could he tell his son he needed a break? Time is slippery, and this rest had gone on for a week now. No Nicole to bug him. Mark had turned his cell phone off the moment he left the city.
Something began to bite the bait after a few minutes. Mark fought with the line, pulling, dragging his whole body to its full six feet trying to bring in the big fish. He reeled in the line more and the head of the fish appeared. Mark looked it in the eye. It seemed to not be struggling at all! If Mark didn’t know better, he believes the fish was grinning! Then, just as sudden, it hopped back into the water, and it waved its fin at him!
Mark was puzzled. He thought it may have been a red drum, a shark, possibly a king mackerel. He wasn’t sure. Perhaps, it was a sheepshead. They like the barnacles that attach to the pylons along the pier. He couldn’t be sure.
Mark focused his view on the ships returning from whatever they did in the ocean. He figured if he was a captain aboard one of those ships, he would chase that fish to Atlantis. He realized he would like to be a ship captain. Mark figured the fishing would be glorious, and he smiled.
Stranger on the Bench
“It seems one got away, son.”
Mark was so caught up in his fantasy that he didn’t hear the man come up beside him. He turned to see a tall man with broad shoulders standing beside him.
“May I take a seat on your bench?” He asked in a low but soothing voice. “Fish can do that you know. You think you’re about to take them in, and plop, plop, splash, they’re gone!” He laughed merrily.
Mark looked at the man closer. He had the built of a football player. His arms were thick with muscles and his face as brown and joyful as the evening sky beyond his bench. The man was trying to comfort him for his loss.
“You were not really hungry? Were you, son? You just wanted that fish today. It had other plans.” The big man spread his arms, “Don’t take it personally. Sometimes we don’t know the difference between wants and needs. It confuses the heck out of humanity.” He chuckled again.
Mark wondered why this man was telling him this. Why was he speaking to Mark’s troubles?
“I don’t know you, sir.” Mark put on his cab driver’s voice, “But you don’t have to stay here beside me if you don’t want to. I might be bad luck.” Mark was hoping this strange fellow would up and leave. He was making Mark a bit frustrated. Looking at the guy, Mark knew he couldn’t take him in a fist fight. Skinny mark Mansky was not an athlete. The guy made two of him. Mark figured it would be another loss, just like with the fish, just like with his family, and he wasn’t in the mood for another round of losses.
“You see, there you go again!” the man said, a little loud this time, “Talking about wants. I’m not here for you, boy; your time still remains. I’m here to fish. I needed a break.”
Finally, something Mark could relate to from this stranger. “That’s my feelings, too. My name is mark.” Mark was beginning to warm up to the man now. But to be certain, in case things went wrong, he glanced over to see that the man and his son were still nearby. They were.
“I figured that.” The huge man grumbled. Mark didn’t notice it before. Perhaps, it was because the man was so big – the giant pulled a fishing pole from behind his back, and gracefully tossed in the bait.
“What do you mean?” Mark inquired, “You figured I was Mark?” Feelings of unease crept up Mark’s spine.
The big fellow gently turned to Mark, “Look, don’t ask questions. I know you wanted a change. You wanted a break? You want to be a ship captain I just heard. O.k. Enjoy your desires, Mark.” The enormous man giggled, almost childlike.
“Go be a captain, but those clothes will not do. Your hair isn’t quite right either.” The man smiled lazily.
Mark looked at his old jeans and T-shirt. His curly black hair was all he knew. He wanted more curls, maybe some new clothing – but he was on an extended vacation which he wasn’t sure he would end. In any case, what was this fellow talking about? He didn’t have time to ask, darkness began to wrap him like a warm quilt. Day finally pulled up the covers, letting night blanket the world, the ocean, the sands along the pier, and Mark.