A brief excerpt, my story can’t be previously published for consideration.

A mountainside carved slowly, that look of approval took years— that is the only way I described my father. He wasn’t damn near as moody as his eyes suggested. I was not the first son. But I was his son— he saw me, sometimes. I think he saw too much of himself, and too little of me.

I was the reflection on the water, blurring my face with his.

I watched years go by without weakness, but I sensed parts of my father in a slow burn. It was terrifying to watch him fall into the frailty of age, haunted by doubt and fear. A man on fire was burning bright, my father unaware, shrouded in his own dark moods.

He said he was unhappy. That made less sense than the silence.

Smoldering, strike him! I had hissed to myself. Strike him, meld him. My father malleable, vulnerable as he searched for some happiness his sons could not offer. I pressed within me to find some truth to hammer him— to shake his quiet, private reality he kept so far from me. But I had nothing to offer. So he turned to the water, the wilderness of the sea.