A Leaf in the Air



    The leaf slices through the ocean air and then waits. Grabbing hold of a breeze, it flows ever away from places it has been. Gently passing through.

    Fwap! Snug against the mast of a passing ship, holding tight. Voices lie below: the wind, bending wood, the spray of water, words.

    "Ahhh! It's a bloody fool act, I tell you."

    "And what would you have me do? Follow orders? Cook his food? Until another one of us goes missing? It can't go on like this. And I'm not the only one of us with a family to feed. He's straight from hell he is!"

    "You damned fool! Have you not heard of him? Of the waves that swallowed his soul? Of the reef that bashed his head in? You go down there. You go and talk to him. You see about that bloody accident. He's the ocean, he is! And he's death! And he'll be the death of you and us all, he will. And then you see how well you can feed that family. You just see!"

    Fwoosh! Away. Once more sleeping in the wind.

(c) 1991, Matthew K. Coughlin