Excerpt from “Upon This Rock”

The start of something new …

“Simon’s fingers danced absentmindedly  across the surface of the murky, green water. He slouched near the stern, his head leaned back to catch the morning breeze as it swooped down and caught the water’s spray. His legs were stretched out toward his brother’s sun-kissed back, working out the kinks from a long night of pulling up empty nets.

Tucked as far as he could be in the back of the boat, Simon breathed deeply and exhaled the frustration of another night without anything to show for it. A tear slid down his cheek as he thought about his new bride, trying to make a life for them on the meager wages he brought in. He was utterly humiliated. Again.

Angrily, he swiped the tear across his cheek and stood to help his father, who’d maneuvered their skiff through the maze of fishermen and disembarked to pull it onto the shore. Passing Andrew, he let his hand fall lazily and cuff his younger brother in the head. A subtle motivation to get moving. He silently rejoiced in the sounds of Andrew’s obedience following him as he hoisted himself over the side of the boat and waited patiently for him, resisting the urge to begin heaving the boat onshore and upsetting its contents while his brother clumsily picked through their work debris to get to the side.

Andrew looked at Simon accusingly, without saying a word, but Simon simply smiled and grabbed the bow of the boat next to their father. Together, the three men pulled their small craft onto the shore and began the toilsome chore of cleaning it. Another opportunity stolen in the darkness. Another night without providence. Another labor without reward.”



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