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Short Story: The Angels Take a Vacation Part I

Tim Truzy is a poet, short-story author, and he is currently working on several novels.

A pier like Mark may have fished from

A pier like Mark may have fished from

Relaxation and Recreation

I wrote this story with several ideas in mind. Certainly, taking a break from stress is good for our health. A vacation can recharge while granting an opportunity to focus on our future and past responsibilities. 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, agreeing with the pleasant thought. 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. 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 these items were essentials. Mark thought she was exaggerating and he could have done without any of these things.

Mark felt 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.

A short pier and a shrimp trawler

A short pier and a shrimp trawler

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 imagines what it would be like to captain a boat or ship

Mark imagines what it would be like to captain a boat or ship

Mark was puzzled. He thought it may have been a red drum, or a shark. Perhaps, it was a sheepshead. They like the barnacles that attach to the pylons along the pier. He wasn't sure.

Mark focused his view on the returning ships, coming back from whatever they did at sea. If he was a captain aboard one of those ships, he would chase that fish to Atlantis. He wanted to be a ship captain. Mark smiled, thinking the fishing would be glorious.

Stranger on the Bench

“One got away, son.”

Mark imagined completely, missing the appearance of the stranger. A tall man with broad shoulders stood beside him.

“May I sit?” He asked in a low soothing voice. “Fish can trick you. 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 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 pondered why the stranger spoke to his troubles?

“I don’t know you, sir.” Mark put on his cab driver’s voice, “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 leave. He was making Mark a bit nervous.

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 failures.

Another sail boat like Mark dreams of

Another sail boat like Mark dreams of

“There you go again!” the man said, a little loud, “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. I'm 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 know.” The huge man grumbled. Perhaps, it was because the man was so big–the giant pulled a fishing pole from behind his back, gracefully tossing in the bait.

“What do you mean?” Mark inquired, “You figured I was Mark?” An uneasy feeling seized Mark.

The big fellow swiftly faced 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.

“Be a captain, but those clothes and hair will not do. Maybe you should be a passenger first.” The man grinned.

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.

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.

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