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The Buddha

To my Australian friend, Hunter [open frequency]

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Thor sat down on an upturned boat. His fingers running over the paint cracked boards, as he gazed out at the ocean. His eyes scanned the horizon while his mind whirred with choices. His eyes drifted from the crashing waves to the boat under him. Sure, it was beaten up, but a little use of his carpentry skills and it could be seaworthy. Fill it with some provisions and get the fuck out of this place. But as always, when thoughts of escape would creep into his mind, the old stern voice inside him reminded him that Joyce was here. How could he leave? Besides, he had some new friends. After so long without human interaction, could he give all that up on a chance to die at sea? 

Thor gave a heavy sigh, rubbing his temples with his thumb and index finger. "Fuck it." He muttered, unclasping his backpack and swinging it down between his legs. Opening the side pouch he pulled out his radio and checked the battery was in it. Twisting the dial Thor brought the radio close to his mouth and pressed down the PTT

"This is Thor. I am reaching out to my Australian friend, HuntAAGGHHH!" Thor dropped the radio, twisting round in surprise as a seagull wandered into his peripheral view and let out a shreaking squawk. Grabbing a handful of sand he threw it at the bird in anger. Both at himself for being frightened by a bird, and at the bird for sneaking up on him. The seagull took flight, squawking once more, in a mocking tone, Thor reckoned. Picking up his radio he took a scan for more birds before sitting back down, bringing the radio to his mouth again.

"Sorry about that. damned seagull crept up on me. This is Thor. I am reaching out to my Australian friend, Hunter. I never caught your last name. I have taken that trip to the coast. Even gave my boots a wash in the ocean." He chuckled, recalling the conversation. "I have found some netting, you were looking for. You never said how much you needed, so I stopped looking when I had about Fifteen strips. If that's not enough let me know." Thor gazed up at the sky, shielding his eyes from the glare of the sun. 

"I might be back up to Severograd tonight, if not it will be in the next few days. If I don't see you there, I will endeavour to leave them with our jolly Santa friend to keep safe for you." Thor released the PTT button and was about to put his radio back into his bag, stopping himself he spoke into it once more.

"Thor out."

Keeping the radio on he stuffed it into the pouch of his bag and stood up from the upturned boat, pulling out his knife he set about gathering some firewood.

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Thor knelt at the mount of dirt before him. The grass had begun to grow over the top in sparse patches, since he had disturbed the earth. Placing a bunch of wild flowers down beside the wooden cross above it, he touched the wood, drawing his fingers over the name carved into to it. "I'm sorry." He whispered, before a stream of tears fell from his eyes. 

After a moment to console himself, he wiped the tears from his eyes, scrubbing them away from his sandpaper-like cheek. He would need a shave again soon, he noted. Kissing his fingertips, he waved the fingers at the grave, just as he had done while she was still alive and entered his house. Pulling the old creaky chair back from the table, one of these days he would fix it up, but not yet. Picked up the radio from the table and pushed down the PTT button. 

"Hunter, I do not know if you received my last message. I looked for you at Severograd, but I did not see you. Anyhow, I have found netting I left some in one of the tents in the town. If you did not get them in time, I still have some on me. I may take a little trip to a quaint little fishing town my wife and I once visited. Grab myself some fish. Been a while since I sat down and fished."

Thor looked out the window, gazing up at the clouds for an idea of the weather.

"If anyone out there knows an Australian fellow by the name of Hunter. Please let him know there are nets in Severograd. Thor out."

Dropping the radio to the table, Thor crossed his arms on the table, resting his head down, facing the wall beyond which his wife lay in her grave. Slowly, his eyes began to drift closed.


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