I came from meager beginnings, a preacher’s son living in the top level of a church. Music and theatre were the devil’s work I was told. My father had extraordinarily little use for humour. He was a peddler of everything fire and brimstone. Love often was withheld from me, his coldness often harsher than the Nova Scotian winters. If this was living Christ-like I had no interest in being part of the flock. Rebellion was on the horizon.

The allure of rock and roll, the love of a good woman finally seduced me. This alone had liberated me. I successfully married and reared three children. Although I was not without help, the bottle I leaned on far too long tried its best to tear my life asunder many a time. I allowed the darkness to plan for domination of my life. This I would later vanquish. Addiction had been the captain of my ship for far too long.

Lake Charlotte provided me an honest Nova Scotian living. Driving junky k-cars, clamming paid a poor man’s wage. This meant no vacations or the finer things in life. Sacrifices made altruistically provided for my family. I’d soon be able to rest I thought; one more measly year symbolized my near future retirement. The salt from the basin dried my skin out for far too long. The smell would never be forgotten by me. This though was no longer an old man’s game.

Cancer guaranteed a miserable start to retirement. Yellowed skin, testing quickly showed cancer in my prostate. God, I later realized, lived in this land, the sea. These people are the salt of the earth. Chemotherapy would be rough, but I was not yet ready to leave Eden. Maybe we all are part of “his” flock after all.

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Fuji
Fuji(@fuji)
2 years ago

The intriguing picture first drew me into your story. It’s interesting how much a picture can improve a good story. The story itself lived up to the picture, especially the last few sentences. Your story was well-written; the reader feels the harshness of Nova Scotia, yet comes to appreciate it in the end. One suggestion – you might try using more dialogue. “Show, don’t tell” is always good advice!

Shreya Dhital
Shreya Dhital(@shreya-dhital)
2 years ago

You painted a person’s entire life in such few words. Great work 🙂

Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe(@eric-radcliffe)
2 years ago

It often happens that when one reads the comments left by others, you come to understand the story through another person’s eyes. That is why it’s important to read what others have written, for it shows how the writer has connected with the reader on different levels. For Comments can also be like a Story!
I find it extraordinary that out of 177 likes, there are only 2 comments.

I see your story as a story of conflict, a battle for one’s own identity. That is the real story.

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Katy Bizi
Katy Bizi(@katy-bizi)
2 years ago

This story has less than 350 words, yet somehow it manages to tell someone’s whole life. Incredible!

musing mind
musing mind(@musing-mind)
2 years ago

This was like a start-to-finish of someone’s life story. Very seamlessly written.

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Sandra James
Sandra James(@sandra-james)
2 years ago

What a wonderful, honest, reflection of someone’s life! I particularly liked the phrase ‘his coldness often harsher than the Nova Scotian winters’. Beautifully written and a great hopeful ending.

Susan Dawson
Susan Dawson(@susan-dawson)
2 years ago

A rough life, well portrayed. My other half is still playing what is no longer an old man’s game – fishing in the North Sea.

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Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
2 years ago

A poignant story that very succinctly covers the ups and downs in one mans life. It shows how his strength has grown in his determination to fight the cancer that could steal his final years. Nicely written.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
1 year ago

Congratulations on your win, Melissa. I enjoyed reading it – well portrayed.

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Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
Reply to  Melissa Taggart
1 year ago

You’re welcome, Melissa.

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