Letter from the Traveler III: A Fishing Village Part 1
Agie had been kind enough to give me directions to the river, which I took without haste. The most important thing she said, was to go left when I thought I should go right. She said that all signals would point right, but not to be beguiled. My fear of her did not hinder my acceptance of her insight; I unwaveringly obeyed and soon discovered her meaning. Some time after the point where my feet began to bleed with the walking, I heard the sound of water sloshing over rocks in my right ear. It was so clear and so sure that I began to misunderstand my journey and consider the possibility that I had turned the wrong way on accident, or missed a landmark. For a moment, it knocked me backwards, the thought that I would be lost alone in this horrid place. I sat down to gather myself. I soon rememberd Agie’s warning and turned left, away from the sounds.
I followed the river for less than a day and it turned me out onto the banks of an inlet marsh, where I stood at the gnarled mouth to the sea. The trees had thinned and the world was more expansive. In the distance, I could see a cluster of houses and headed towards them.
It was a fishing village. The closer I got, the more indisputable this knowledge became; fat red fish hanging out to dry from windowsills; a ring of women with rigid faces sewing a net that expanded and contracted like a living organism from their mutual efforts; an assembly of docks constructed like a threadbare quilt one on top of another, swallowing the nearest part of the sea and intruding on marsh grasses that sprouted like crooked hairs from the planks. A salty, rancid smell that no one seemed to notice.
A man approached me and asked me who I was and what I wanted. I told him I had answers for neither of those questions, but that I was a traveler seeking shelter and food. He led me through the town and brought me to the docks, where he stood me before a larege group of other grim-faced, calloused men. They asked me if I could work for my stay. I conceded. We swapped names and I learned that they were called: Vino, Vinus, Vino Ave, Avenius, Vien II, and Vini. Vino was the town’s founder and father of Vinus, who was the father of Vino Ave, who had once caught a fish called Maud that predicted bad weather and was kept in Vini’s house because he was married to Marsie, the town seer. Vien II was Vini’s brother and they were the sons of Vinus’ now deceased uncle, Vienne.