for want of home by Simon Gibson

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SUMMARY: its ok, wrote it on holiday, took about a year to actually do it:)

For want of home.

Fred Thompson was a fisherman and had been for most of his life; having lived in a small fishing village and his father being a fisherman it was the natural progression to follow the family tradition.

He was returning from a long days fishing when he came across something in the water. He steered the boat over to it and saw that it was a small wooden object, about a foot across and floating only just above the small ripples of the current. He reached out with a net to try to catch the object, his curiosity drawing him away from his journey home, but as he tried to get close to the thing he was unable to catch it.

Years of experience should have made catching the object simple, yet each time he had it within the net the waves caught it again, pulling it teasingly out of his reach. He found this a puzzling thing but he tried again. The same thing happened again and he decided, his curiosity at this bizarre happening drawing him to go one step further, to dive into the water, and just grab the box with his bare hands.

Readying himself, he dived in. The water was slightly cold but as it was high summer, he was not too shocked by the change in temperature. As he grasped the box with one hand a rush of success filled him, he felt a strange tingling but put it down to bang in the water, something which he had successfully avoided for many years.

He put the box inside a strongbox, which he used to store the more valuable possessions on the boat, and made his way back to shore. The box had drawn his attention to a degree that work seemed unnecessary, as the past week had been a good week and therefore he made the choice to take his new catch home.

Reaching home, he looked at the box and had to restrain himself from looking inside. He made a quick dinner of beans on toast and settled in front of the fire with the box on his lap.

As he opened it, he noticed that it was dry inside. This was strange as there was no seal to make it watertight. He pulled back the lid to reveal a grisly sight. Small bones were pilled in one section of the box, the other half held a compass that, rather than pointing north, pointed to the bones. The strangest thing was not the bones, for they looked like a mix of old animal remains, but the compass.

Thompson removed the compass and saw that it was still pointing to the bones even when it was removed from the box, this disturbed him for, being a man of the sea, he knew that it was not pointing north like any normal compass would.

Taking the box over to the television, he held the side with the compass against the speaker side. Still, regardless of the magnet in the speaker, the compass pointed to the bones, it did not deviate from its waypoint. He placed it down on the floor close to the television and stepped away from it. There was no change in where the compass pointed, and Thompson was afraid.

"Home"

The noise came from the box whilst Thompson had started to watch football repeats late that night.

Thompson jumped in his seat and looked around the room, for there was no real place where the noise had come from.

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