Pappy – The End

I didn’t have to be at the airport until later in the afternoon for my flight back to Portland. I decided to visit to the pelicans and seagulls, and enjoy a brief, littoral meditation. It was quite early, and the bikinis were still asleep, but I did not want their company anyway, at this time. A thick fog had drifted across the beach. I selected a bench near the seawall and sat in the empty silence that fog produces. I watched a few sandpipers dance with the tide, and wondered if there were ships steaming out of the layer of fog into the open sea, in rout to exotic, foreign lands. As I fondly recalled my days as a sailor, a dim figure of an old man approached, and to my confusion, sat on the sea wall just next to the bench on which I was positioned. Before I had time to adequately process this scenario, he spoke to me.  

“Good morning, lad. Do you see anything out there?” He gestured toward the fog covered sea.  “Somewhere out there are exciting adventures, great quests, mysterious people, success and failure; in the land of imagination there is no mediocrity. You know, you remind me of your father.”

I was flabbergasted. He continued.

“He used to sit and contemplate life through the maritime fog, and fantasize about unknown, exotic places and quixotic adventures. At times he would share his imaginative muses with me. He sometimes spoke about his boys, that he hadn’t seen in a very long time.”

“Wait,” I intervened, “how do you know who my father is? How do you…”

“I know a great deal about castles in the sand.”

“Who are you?” I ardently enquired. He continued to talk, but circumnavigated my question.

“You will not end up just like your father. You cannot. You are a different person. You are you, he was he. Oh, you know who I am. You’ve met me before. You would ask me questions about your father; questions from deep within your inner sanctum about a man of whom you had only vague recollections. Likewise, your father would ask about his long-lost boys.”

“But… who are you? Where did you come from? Why…”

Again, this strange figure softly interrupted me to continue his conversation.

“I am here because you summoned me. Your father is okay. His questions have been answered. The answers to your questions are yet to be revealed. But, look, the fog is lifting. I must go.”

“No, wait!” I pleaded. “I want…”

“You are your father’s son. He was he; you are you. Set yourself free.”  The mysterious, uncanny old man walked into the fog toward the sea, and vanished.

That’s All Folks!

© 2022           
Mark T.K. Fought