The broad side of a fish …

writing browne henriette…slapped her face hard, pushing her head back and knocking her ball cap from her head.  Hands jerking upward in reaction to the sting exploding across her nose, sent the crate she was carrying to the dock below as her feet took flight enabled by a heavily kicked board.  Wind milling midair she desperately tried to grasp anything to keep from falling only to find her backside jarred with the force of meeting the dock.   Stunned she tried to draw in needed breath, the sound of fists hitting flesh filling her ears as she inched to the left to escape the bedlam of motion.

Head ringing she leaned against the nearest dock piling, the rough feel of rope against her side, the oil slicked water stinging her already aggravated nose with its mixture of discarded fish remains, and refuse.  The thought of reminding her brother about cleaning the port, was followed rapidly by questions wondering if she’s have twin black eyes before long.   Her fingers probed her stinging nose as the anger boiled up inside her, she had a long awaited date tonight with Billy Waite, it had better not!   Turning to glare at the men responsible for her current condition her eyes widened as a husky male form flew in her general direction and nearly slammed into her aching form.

Red clouded her vision, filling her lungs with much needed air she exploded, “yah!”  Her fingers grasped handfuls of black hair and yanked, as she pushed.  “What do you think you’re doing?”

To the small fishing village, Bess Tait was well known for her outbursts.  A scrapper her language was colorful, her temper flammable, and her anger a true sight to behold.   Growing up without a mother or father in a family of rambunctious bad boys, she’s learned quickly what it took to survive.

Her three brothers had inherited the family business, Tait Shipping and were known for working hard and getting the job done.  That is until quitting time when they were just as famous at playing hard.   Which left Bess, alone, to grow into the woman she was now.  Angry beyond reason and kicking the proffered backside of the male before her.   “Bess!” she spied her older brother fighting toward her, her other brothers flanking him, ‘Bess!”  She ignored them.  She didn’t need them, she knew how to take care of herself, and she could take care of the one before her, no problem.  She tightened her fingers in black hair but before she could yank, she suddenly felt her feet leave the dock, and found herself airborne…

Excerpt: Original Inky Story.

Image: Henriette Brown