Flash Fiction by Grahame Shannon
It was an accident. I never meant to kill him even though my wife liked him better than I did.
It was a sunny afternoon in September. Fiona was at work but I knocked off early to go sailing with Christopher. When I got to the boat he was already on deck. I started the diesel and cast off the lines. He didn’t help.
Once through First Narrows I raised the sails and the trimaran took off at about 10 knots in a brisk English Bay westerly. Christopher wrapped a leg around a winch and relaxed. I was busy steering and trimming sails. It was a glorious sunny day. I put all my concentration into sailing fast, and avoiding other boats on the busy summer afternoon.
A couple of hours later I turned for home. As I did so I looked around for Christopher. I didn’t see him on deck so I called out his name.
“Christopher! Don’t play around. Where are you hiding?”
No reply. Not a sound. I went below and looked anywhere he could possibly hide but there was not a trace. I realised he must have fallen overboard. I quickly turned the boat around and retraced the course. He wasn’t wearing a life jacket and you can’t last long in that cold water. I had no radio on board so about half an hour later I headed in to find a phone.
When I arrived at the dock Fiona was there waiting with an annoyed expression on her face.
“Fiona, I am really sorry. I seem to have killed Christopher. ”
I told her what happened but as I was talking I noticed she wore a bemused look. Her eyes were focused beyond me. I turned my head.
Christopher was standing behind me on deck yawning and stretching as he emerged from under the upturned dinghy. We still had a cat.