Another little slice of fiction…

Another story-of-the-sea published recently in the truly magnificent White Horses magazine.

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Go to the White Horses website for a look. Well worth it, I assure you.

The Rock

Sea breathes in.

Sea breathes out.

Prick’s perched up there like a billygoat on The Rock and making like the director of a show, one of the grandest magnitude, one where the ocean’s the fuckin’ stage and we’re but players fighting it out for a cash-in-hand extra’s slot. He barks his charges in with a machine gun staccato.

Yup. Yup. Nup. Nup. Yup.

Like black or red on the fuckin’ pokies.

The bloke out front levers himself to the spot. He’s a most unsurferly wisp, this fella. Sunken smoker’s chest. Cheap smudgy tatt on his pale left shoulder. He get’s a yup. Doesn’t fuck about. Plunges boardlong into the keyhole’s boiling mush.

Sea breathes in.

Sea breathes out.

And Wispy’s exhaled out the rear, back arched, chook arms chuggin’.

Bird’s up next, the languid one who you see down here. Turns heads with her Diaz legs and that blue and white striped mal. Can surf, this one. Nimble. Graceful. Lean. Her old man’s here a bit, too. Clingin’ to that saggin’ ex-clubbie frame, the old fella. Cranky lookin’ point-hog, all sunspots and seen-it-all machismo. That snarl’s foolin’ no one. He knows what they’re thinkin’, these blokes who ogle his baby. He was one of ‘em back in the day. It’s killin’ him.

She leaps, his girl.

Sea breathes in.

Sea breathes out.

Feet skyward, she hardly seems to stroke before she’s sucked around the corner and gone, hair still dry as bone.

My turn now. Billygoat’s all earnest instructiveness.

Hold on. Wait. Hold on.

Then he baulks, sits bolt upright.

YUP. GO. GO. GO!

So I dive into the brine.

Sea breathes in.

Sea holds it fuckin’ breath.

World pauses.

I battle for the corner, but I’m retarded by a numbskull current that can’t get its shit together.

By the time I’m around, it’s a steamin’ gurglin’ wall of fuckin’ white.

*

I bail.

What else?

I’m clamberin’ downwards lookin’ for safe depth but there’s no grip in this kind of airy green stew. Bubbles of nothin’. Just like the chocolate. Board gets caught and tugs at me like a shopping centre mum would a wayward toddler. No fuckin’ idea where I’m goin’. Hug my arms to my head. Save the noggin. Guessed it wrong. Shoulda thought of my ribs. Like a fuckin’ gunshot, the pain. How the ages shaped that rock. How they moulded it and cajoled it. How tides sharpened it just so. And how the water carries the thud as I introduce myself to its evolution. I clutch for the hurt and as I do drag my elbow on stone. Skin rips. Salt bites at a new wound.

Sea breathes out.

Dumps me on barnacles and whatever other godforsaken fuckin’ gremlins grow on that stone. Board’s in two bits, both bobbing, the smaller piece still attached to my ankle.

There’s a fuckin’ rockhopper standin’ there. Frozen solid, he is. Bucket and rod and just gawkin’ like American Gothic oceanside. Useless, he is. I know the feeling. There’s blood from a wound in my side just like the fuckin’ Romans gave to Jesus. The one that didn’t even bleed. The one that told him the time was nigh. The death prod. They teach you all that fable crap at school. They don’t teach you to jump The Rock. Note to fuckin’ educators everywhere – get your shit in order.

Sea breathes in.

I rise with it and cling to the cunjie like bloated tick. I’m too fucked to go any further, too scared to let go.

After a bit I shimmy my way around and cop the cut feet and the grazed gut just to get free. Safe, I reel in my board’s lower half. Some kid hands me its torso. Blood’s down my shins, dripping off my fingertips. Elbow’s aflame. Rashy’s been got at by Freddie Krueger.

“Fuck,” the kid says, eyes fixed on the red rivulets spreading across my feet. It’s all he can manage.

And up against a clear sky sits The Rock, a fuckin’ great proud slab of conqueror.

Billygoat’s bailed now, too. Well he fuckin’ might.

Car park can’t come soon enough.

I ignore the stares and just keep on trudgin’.

About mattwebberwrites

I write about sport and other things. I'm a dad and a husband. I regularly do the broadcast thing on 91.7 ABC Gold Coast. I like weird guitars and wacky fuzz pedals. My tweet to follower ratio is poor, but improving. The St Kilda Football Club is my seductress. She kills me daily. Surfing helps.
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