(written 10/24/91; Webbed 10/12/95)

Two fishers went out on a stormy sea, a sea that rolled and foamed and
rumbled, shivering into loud breakers as it tumbled through the rocks on the
shore of Brinytown. The two were named Jock and Stella, and they were
lovers -- or had been long ago, when both were young. They’d known the
tides of love together, aye, and of the sea; and they’d grown from babes to
adults together by the sea’s side, the taste of salt spray on their lips
with every breath and every sigh. And they’d grown older together as well,
in the village of their ancestors, and fished together day by day as the
wind and weather wore lines in their brown faces.

They’d borne no children, had Jock and Stella, though they’d seen their
friends’ children leave cradles, walk, go to sea, and either drown or raise
children of their own. Or sometimes both. But the lack of progeny bothered
them not at all, for, as Stella was wont to say, “One day we’ll go to sea
for fish and not come back; and when the fish have taken us at last, what
would the wee bairns do for parents?” And so day by day the two took their
little boat out into the smell of salt and fish, the shrieks of gulls, the
toss and curl of waves and wind.


This was simply a ten-minute timed-writing exercise -- put pen to paper and
don’t stop writing for ten minutes no matter what. It started, I believe,
with a line from a Heather Rose Jones song which I think starts out “Three
fishers went out on a stormy sea,” but has nothing to do with the song

As with the other exercises I’m publishing here, this isn’t intended to be a
complete story and hasn’t been revised at all (even for spelling or grammar)
since writing. Though of course I edited it while I was originally writing
it -- crossing out phrases, making false starts, and so on.

Jed Hartman <logos@kith.org>