Life Love Marriage Short Story Top

The coracle and the anchor


To my husband, because I love you.

I often wonder where life would take me if I had not found my anchor. Where would I be? No doubt, I would land amongst rocky shores, beaten and worn from the tossing waves. I would be seasick, sick of sea and weary of water. No doubt my skin would be caked in salt, my lips bleeding and dry, hair matted and coarse and bones, tired and limp.

My craft, you see, was never robust, you could hardly call it a craft! It is more of a coracle, small and round with only a paddle and room for one. It is set spinning in troubled waters, around and around. I had learnt to grit my teeth and hold on tight. I had learnt only to rely on me, it was the easiest way to navigate the seven seas. And besides, who else is there in the middle of the ocean, in a boat built for one?

One day, I arrived in a land where the flowers grew as big as watermelons and smelled just as sweet. The people wore colours of every hue and shade and welcomed me with garlands of roses and goblets of nectar. I bowed and watched and learnt their names and faces. I began to adopt their ways and slowly they showed me that perhaps it was time to stop drifting in my little boat of reeds and tar. But how could I still my boat? There was no rope that would hold her and the sand was soft and always yielding, allowing my little boat to venture out into the waves once again. I tried to bring her ashore, but she would always become too strong to constrain, it pulled me instead, towards the wide expanse of water and foam as if restless of standing still.

I spoke to one of the elders who advised that I should find myself an anchor. I looked back at my boat and sighed. She refused to be held by rope, perhaps an anchor would be strong enough.

I searched for a while and always, just when I thought I had found the right one, my boat would spin and spin and move further out to sea, needing the strength of ten men to pull her back in. But just when I had given up hope and readied myself to drift again, I saw an object of ebony stone glinting in the sands. I moved closer to inspect this curious object but turned my back on it when I realised it was just another anchor, another anchor that would be rejected by my little boat.

But it sang out to me, this object of jet. A song so sweet, that my boat halted in mid spin and listened with me. It drew me in and I lifted it up, only to find it weighed no more than a feather. My boat was tied to the anchor of black and it was moored, finally.

Finally still.

And those who loved me, wept with joy because at last my days at sea, of hunger and thirst, had come to an end.

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