Cymodoce seems to be one of my best loved stories. EU actress Sabine Rossbach performed a reading of it and talks about it often (see Sabine Rossbach’s Happy Hour – 14 May 2020 Interview (wherein she waxes wonderfully about “Empty Sky”) for an example), parAbnormal published it in June 2019, there’s an ebook version and it appears in Tales Told ‘Round Celestial Campfires.
By the way, a prominent Brit-based publisher and I have entered contract negotiations for Tales. It may not be self-published much longer. I’d suggest getting a copy now. Big changes are in the works, it seems.
I’ve broken the story into three parts starting with Cymodoce (Part 1) and continuing with Cymodoce (Part 2).
Creator and above level members can download the entire Tales PDF version here
“See, everything’s fine,” said Mrs. D’Angelo.
“Cymmi mustn’t go swimming,” Jenny said and tapped Cymmi to get her attention. /NO /SWIM//UNDERSTAND/?// Cymmi turned away and pouted, her eyes on the ocean not far away. Jenny tickled her gently until Cymmi silently laughed and looked at her again. /CYMMI /NO /SWIM /PROMISE/?//
Cymmi nodded. /NO /SWIM /PROMISE//
Jenny smiled. She left the children in the D’Angelo’s care and left to walk through the village.
She walked for a few hours. Small pleasure craft and the larger lobster and fishing boats filled the Sound. The air was heavy with the mix of salt and diesel. Each wave brought the shrieks of water skiers and bluetooth boxes played too loud. She heard seagulls fighting for scraps and following the trawlers. Far beneath the gulls and music and vacationers she could hear and feel the grunting, steady engines of the trawlers laying their miles of netting or scooping lobster buoys from the sea.
She saw three small children, she guessed them to be two, three, and four — boy, girl, boy — playing dangerously close to the edge of the pier. As she approached she noticed the soiled, tattered clothing and dirty, shoeless feet and matted hair. They were sharing a can of coke and a package of twinkies. A seagull, almost the size of the smallest child, started to get bold and Jenny hurried before it hurt one of the children.
Suddenly a man appeared from one of the nearer boats and yelled. The seagull took flight and the children flinched. The man’s shoulders were hunched forward with the weight of his gut, but Jenny could tell the muscles were still strong in his arms and chest.
He looked up at her and quickly away. Jenny’s hand covered her mouth, but she didn’t know if her gasp was from stifled laughter or shock.
It was Anthony. A very different Anthony than she remembered from her other visits, certainly not the Anthony who took her to the island.
Anthony hurried his children below deck. Jenny laughed and continued her walk.
Further up the coast she became aware there were fewer boats on the Sound. Instinctively she looked up and realized the sky had darkened. It took another hour to get back to the D’Angelo’s.
Mr. D’Angelo opened the door to her. “The radio says there’s going to be a storm. There’re small craft advisories.”
Mrs. D’Angelo came downstairs. “The children had a snack of cookies and milk. They’re asleep in the guest room. My, do they talk! Their little hands like tiny butterflies, they move so fast. They’re beautiful children, Jenny. I got to love them.” She looked out the window. “You’re going to stay with us until the storm passes, Jenny. You’re not going to take those darling children out in this.”
“Of course she’s not,” said Mr. D’Angelo, offered in Jenny’s behalf. “She going to stay right here, you silly old woman.”
The weather reports were right. There was a storm. A fierce storm. A typical coastal storm, quickly in and quickly out. They could see the crests of the waves from the store. The wind and rain slammed down the street. The lights along the coast went out. Jenny and the D’Angelo’s sat down and had some tea heated on a Coleman stove. Jenny picked up a book. They all turned when a tiny foot stamped.
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