I am out to sea painting from the deck of the American Eagle. Schooners were never built with the internet in mind, so my blog has entered nautical twilight. I have left you a few super-short short stories. I challenge you, dear readers, to finish them. The only rules:
- Don’t send me your endings by email or text message—I won’t get them. Instead, leave them in the comments section below.
- Keep it clean. This is a family newspaper. I have enough trouble coloring inside the lines as it is.
Every family has secrets. Accidents of birth are the hardest, because they can’t be undone.
My friend Garrison is a sixth generation Mainer on his dad’s side, and a fifth generation Mainer on his mom’s. He’s never been out of the state of Maine except for one memorable three-day trip when he was young. Very young.
His mom needed something from a specialty yarn shop in Portsmouth, NH. While she was there, her water broke and she couldn’t get back over the bridge to give her eldest child the patrimony he deserved.
Now that his parents are dead, Garrison is the only person in the world who knows this. But he also knows that someday his children will see his birth certificate and it weighs on his soul like a deep, dark stain.
My friend Bill is also the child of multigeneration Mainers. His parents left for Norfolk, VA in the early 40s. He shipped out; she got a job with the defense industry. When the war ended, they did not come back to Maine—Maine is cold. Instead, they stayed in Virginia, raised three fine kids, and died happy elderly deaths.
Bill never even set foot in Maine until his 60th birthday, but by the weird calculus of Maine genealogy, he’s as much a native Mainer as Garrison.
Mitch got a job at a paper mill in Madawaska. There he met a nice English-speaking Canadian girl. Even though the St. John River is narrow enough there to hurl a javelin across, by marrying her he assured that his own kids would never be native Mainers—their mother is from away.
But the weirdest of these stories is what happened to my friend Louise. Let this be a lesson to any of you hipsters who find yourself on the road and in the family way…
Over to you, afictionados!