A Glimpse of the Sea (short)

Since he was a boy, he’d heard tales of the sea. That endless lake that stretched out past the ends of the earth, past imagination, farther than time itself. Folks passed through the mountains every few years saying they’d come from the sea – with strange tales of salt so plentiful it blew in the wind, and fish that swallowed boats as big as homes.

He loved listening to the strangest tales, trying to pictures the small lake on the edge of his village stretched out ten thousand fold over the entire horizon, but it was very difficult.

As he grew, he still thought of the sea, but the ponderings came fewer through the years. It was like a dream he kept trying to remember, but would forget before he could write it down. The thoughts of the sea slipped through his mind like sand, and other things grew in importance, leaving room for a little else.

His wife took the place of his sea, then his child. Then another and another, wave after wave rocking the peaceful voyage of their home.

His children grew, ebbing and flowing in and out of the home, until finally the tide left at last, and they moved on to their own seas. His home bobbed peacefully again in time, until he thoughts of the sea returned, and he’d talk to his wife for hours about his dreams of one day venturing across the land to the forgotten shores.

She laughed and smiled listening to his recollection of the strangest tales shared in the village pubs by those strangest visitors claiming the sight of the sea as their own.

She laughed and smiled for many years, until at last the waves of time took her away, too.

And now alone but for his dogs, he sat and dreamed to see. The village and the lake and the faces of the earth had now come to enough, and he set off one day with barely a word.

He and his dogs plotted up and down the mountains, always marching west. For two years, the slow tide of travel carried them, their old bones creaking all the while. Until finally, he tasted a speck of salt on the air.

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