BUCKY- Another Character for S(Heart)P MAN

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I’m getting the S(Heart)P MAN characters together for the non-epic, everyday (unfortunately) battle for a few waves. Bucky has been forced back into the ghetto mentality of seaside city surfing by the most devious of villains, the need to make a living. Where he once developed skills and a reputation, he’s now scrapping on an even-more-crowded playing field where he must compete against surfers with less skill, less wave knowledge, less… it’s debatable, even in Bucky’s mind, if he ever had the proper surfers’ soul, or even what that means. If the thrill is harder to achieve and the fun is fractured by drop-ins and cut-offs and the waves he can’t even go for because some SUP-riding A-hole is…

Well, there’s the drama, huh?

Naming this character Bucky is in homage to my first local surf hero. I hope he’s doing well. I decided to put in the sort-of super hero perspective, partially, in response to the response from Trish, whose comment on the drawing of Rhonda (not really based on anyone on a conscious level) was, “Her hands are kind of big… man hands;” and Stephen Davis, who agreed. I don’t want to go back and redraw Rhonda (again), but do plan on redoing the drawings of S(heart)P MAN and parts the montage, maybe just gluing-in some changes.

Ragged Edge- Prologue

I’ve let go. I’ve given up… on the struggling.

Still, I hold my breath, as best I can. Have to let some out; in spurts, like crying… sobbing really; that kind you can’t control, can’t stop.

Prrrt, prrt, prrrt.

Still, I’m reaching, reaching… up.

Blackness. I try to open my eyes. The water is filled with sand, pulled up from the bottom, I guess, by the storm.

And my eyes burn. The blood had reached them before he gunned the… what? Motor? Engine? And he turned so fast, so sharp, sharply.

My hands were on my forehead, my eyes on him. Wicked smile.

“So; it’s swim,” he said, puckering his lips; like a kiss. Wicked kiss.

But then he realized… he dropped the… I don’t know what it was, something from his boat. He reached for the pearls. His mother’s, he’d said. Too late.

I could only barely see his hand, reaching.

Maybe my smile was as wicked. And I just fell backward, like, like…

Like sleep. Sinking, deeper; don’t know how deep.

And now my second best dress wraps around me, like seaweed. Tangled. The pearls, the necklace, twisted in my hair. And, and it’s like… like I can’t kick hard enough.

I close my eyes.

Mistakes. Who to trust, who to…

Let it go.

Other eyes; sad smile, sad recognition. I saw him, they designed the restaurant that way; in the kitchen. Cooking. And me; what was I doing?

And he looked down, holding onto some bit of pride.

And I looked down, no pride left.

This was just for a second. I put the smile back on, for my host. Maybe that was the moment he realized I was… was I? Acting.


Was this the easy way?

Is this the easy way? Do I let go; surrender?

The panic is gone. There’s peace. No. Not yet. There’s…wait. I’ve been… rising… released.


Breath! No! Half foam. Choke, cough… breathe.

There’s a moment here, moments; and then the water that had pushed me up pushes me onward. Oh, I can swim; I know how; but I’m swirling, still swirling… but, but, but I see lights. Sky. Morning. It’s…

Another wave. Another. Breath, hold it, move with the waves.

Moments, moments, still moving. Closer to the shore.

Stand up. Stand. And…knocked down, but forward. I rise. I rise, again. And…

The original story, “Ragged Edge,” was published on this site in August of 2013, with another wonderful illustration by my sister, Melissa Lynch. She drew the original illustration here, entitled “Winter At Sea,” for, well, me, and for the gallery she belongs to in Illinois. Because it also fits so well, I felt I should go back, address “Ragged Edge” from a different angle. Ironically, I had always wanted to expand “Ragged Edge” just far enough more to include telltale blood trickling down the forehead of the woman rescued from the stormy surf, now safe, if only temporarily, in the truck of the man who found her on the beach. The victim would share another look of recognition, this time with her attacker.
Maybe she’d touch his mother’s pearls. And then? Released.
Maybe it’s not ironic. Maybe it’s how it was illustrated in my mind. Thanks, Melissa, for making something only imagined real.

Ragged Line


                        Ragged Line


On those mornings when the surf was blown out, or too big, or too small, or too crowded, he would seek treasure along that line of packed wet sand between the south jetty and the much longer string of rocks that protected the harbor from just the type of sudden storm that, south wind still blowing, had pushed dirty wads of feathers and bubbles, ripped-loose strands of seaweed, odd chunks of trees from distant shores, into another line


In the first light of another too-early morning after yet another too-late night, he’d occasionally look up from this map of the farthest reach of gale-pushed waves, high tide and low pressure, eyes following the occasional set wave, from some farther fetch, clean, caught in the chop and windswell; rideable perhaps, in other conditions.


These waves would break into the deeper channel nearer the harbor jetty, the place where the excess force would be relieved in a river. Rip tide.


She was too near that river when he saw her. Or thought he did, rising. She was knocked sideways; trying again, clumsily, to stand, weighed down by pearls and diamonds and her second-best outfit.


Grainy light, everything grey; cutting wind and the remnants of his own fog. He ran, blinked, focused, tried to clear his suddenly-watering eyes. He met her knee deep. She fell upon him, the furthest lengths of her seaweed hair against him; one brief but deep look into his eyes before she, as if he was land, closed hers.


He knew her. Of all the magical gifts he sought along the ragged line, she was the one he most sought.


No, he did know her. Night before last, she was laughing, her hair alive, her shoulders moving so subtly, her eyes glancing away from the man she was with. She had caught his eye through the open window to the kitchen, caught him staring as he wiped a bead of sweat with his white sleeve, pushed another order forward.


He hadn’t looked away, filling in her biography with his own fictions. She wasn’t happy. She was also working; in a way; performing. He believed she recognized him; someone only occasionally free. Occasionally free.



Wrapped in his sweatshirt and coat, she was mostly walking on her own by the time they reached the parking lot, empty except for his truck, boards mostly hidden in the bed. A break in the clouds to the east put just a bit of gold onto her still gray-green face. She leaned on the passenger door, then forward, puking more of the ocean onto the asphalt.


“I’m sorry,” she said, looking into his eyes with what he took for recognition.


Three vehicles, two with flashing lights, approached on the road from the harbor.


A Coast Guard boat sped from the farthest reach of the north jetty, racing sideways through the troughs and crests; circling back to the churning rip where a body of someone who fell off a pleasure boat caught in a sudden storm, might end up.


So, it was over. He tried to study her face; to remember; treasure found, treasure lost.


“Save me,” she said, shaking, still-cold hands moving from his shoulders to the door. Two bottles fell to the pavement. One broke.


The eyes of the man from the restaurant, from his car, as rescuers ran past him, moved, eventually, to the woman in the hoody in the cab. She looked directly at him; shook her head ever so slightly.


“So…you surf here?”


Opening the truck’s driver’s side door, he looked from the man to the ocean.


“Not today.”    



The illustration is by my sister, Melissa Lynch, professional artist. I hope to convince her to do more. While I started out drawing cartoons and surfing pictures, Melissa started out drawing horses. The story is exactly 600 words in length, and was originally written for the “Three Minute Fiction” competition on National Public Radio’s “Weekend All Things Considered.” I haven’t heard anything from NPR, and had certain boundaries not unlike those I required of my sister. Perhaps because I enjoyed writing the story so much, sort of plugging my friend Stephen into the male character’s part, some part of me thought, maybe, maybe it was good enough. As for Melissa’s drawing; couldn’t imagine one any better.