Ol’ Man Roger

Every day was the same.

Ol’ man Roger would stand at the dock whilst ferrymen and captains docked their ships. He missed the smell  of the sea, his first love. These days he seemed weary and scruffy, some say he hasn’t dipped a toe into the water since the death of his esteemed son, over five decades earlier.

After paying homage to the sea, Ol’ man Roger would go into Dean’s tavern. The favourite place of the sea-men and for good reason too, with cheap draft beers, concubines,  and ashes vaping up the chimney stove, Dean’s  tavern was a home away from home.

Ol’ man Roger would sit at his spot, invisible between the plant and the door. He’d leer into his mug,  draining it’s content  till it vanished. He’d speak to no-one except Dean, and watch the grudgy sailors brawl.

Ol’ man Roger was an uncanny sight to behold.

Every one grew fond of the arcane septuagenerian in the corner, no one knew why he was always there, even in the windiest of nights.

He’d  leave Dean’s at nine minutes to midnight, and not a second later , clasping unto his flask  with all his energy like he were protecting pandora’s box.

He’d circle back to the shore to catch the chiaroscuro effect of the lighthouse on the azure waters, revealing the luminous waves as they roared and crashed into a cinereous foam.

The stillness of pellucid water hid perfectly the secrets  beyond the reef… perhaps even the bones of Arnold, encircling between estuaries. One thing he was sure of  as he watched such wondrous scenery  was that his son was in a quiescent astral plane.

The town bell chimed at midnight.

Ol’ man Roger would drag a mouthful from his flask, then pour  every other drop  into the sea. The ripples it caused reminded him it was of  little use to betray a greater calling.  For the first time in fifty years, he stepped into the water, submitting to the ethereal reaction in him, then  he waded and paddled towards the lighthouse.