Justin P Lambert

There are bloggers who post just to express themselves. There are also bloggers who not only wish to express their thoughts, but who also post to develop a fan base for their creative work. There are so many fun projects and great work out there. I want to start posting their work and get the word out that they exist. I’m starting with Justin J. Lambert.

Justin is a poet with several self published books, which can be found on Amazon. He also writes short stories and has self-published Going Home Alone. Below is one of his short stories.

Justine doesn’t tell you what’s happening. He starts in the middle of an action and lets the story unfold as you read.

Still Life With Jellyfish

The warm water laps against my side and the sun, low in the sky, shines orange and purple beyond my closed eyelids.

There is sand in my mouth and the grit crunches as I wince at the pain in my right leg. With a sudden lurch of recall, I remember the explosion and the feel of the shrapnel passing through my leg as I dropped into the roiling waves.

Oh God. Randi.

We had decided to buy the sailboat on a whim just a few weeks after my company sold and the germ of the idea formed that same day: we would sail around the world, taking our time to enjoy the sights and to hopefully mend what had frayed in our relationship.

I’d been so wrapped up in the business for so long, I’d hardly noticed how little time we spent together. We’d lived together for nearly six years at this point, and it had only recently dawned on me how different she was now from when I first brought her home to my ratty apartment all those years ago. A little slower, a little quieter, tired somehow.

So the boat and the trip had seemed the right thing to do with the sixty million I’d made from the sale.

And now, splinters of that boat are lodged in the muscle of my right calf, searing with pain that ebbs and flows with the ever-rising tide, and Randi is nowhere to be seen.

I struggle to a sitting position and scan as far to the north and south as I can. The beach is deserted save for a single unfortunate jellyfish washed up during last night’s high tide. And me. There are bits and pieces of my boat washed up all around me, some of them charred, others in splinters from the blast. Even after soaking in the saltwater, the smell of smoke still clings to my shirt and my hair.

I cry out, the sound escaping my lips before I give it a thought. “Randi!”

My imagination has always been active and detailed. I can see the previous night’s scene down to the last detail, even through the beer-soaked haze. I see Randi sitting in the cockpit, looking at me with sad eyes, rain running down between her eyes as it sheets off the mainsail above her head.

She’s miserable and scared, well aware that I’m drunk, inexperienced, and foolish for having taken the boat out so soon.

The storm isn’t a bad one by any standard, but for a green land lover whose only sailing experience consists of eight hours in a classroom and three on a dinghy on a small inland lake, it may as well be a hurricane. And the beer didn’t help.

With a particularly loud clap of thunder, I momentarily lost my grip on the mainsail rigging. The sail lurched violently to the right before I regained control of it. Startled by the thunder herself, Randi had jumped to her left, and directly into a large spare gas can I kept there for the outboard motor. The can overturned and the deck quickly became slick with spilled gasoline.

Within less than a minute, there was another crack of thunder and a blinding flash as lightning shot down the mast and ignited the gasoline beneath our feet. The next moment, I was in the air, then I was under the water, then I was here.

“Justin?”

I open my eyes again and see my wife standing on the bottom step of the flight that leads up to our beach house.

“Hey, hon.”

“What are you doing?”

“I’m just lying here, thinking.”

“No you’re not, I’ve seen that look before. You’re writing.” She’s right, of course. She knows the look of a good yarn behind my eyes.

I roll over and get up, favoring my right leg a little.

“What happened to your leg?”

“Stupid jellyfish,” I point to the blob a few feet away on the beach, “I accidentally rolled over on it.” She snickers.

“You drank more than I thought last night.” I grin sheepishly at her.

“Yeah, maybe.”

“I should have known when you said you’d stay out there until the fire went down a little further. I should have taken the cooler in with me.”

“I only had two more… I think.”

“Mmhmm…” she shakes her head with a smile and turns around, “Come on inside and get cleaned up. I’ve got coffee on and I’ll make you some eggs.”

“Wait,” I scratch my head, turning north and south again, “where’s Randi?”

“She came inside last night, silly,” my wife says, “she’s been curled up in her bed snug as a bug in a rug while you slept it off out here.”

As if in answer, Randi comes bounding out of the sliding back door of the beach house, our newspaper rolled up in her mouth. She wags her tail to greet her master and I have to laugh.

***

If you are interested in reading more of Justin P. Lambert’s work you can checkout his books just below:     (I tried to get them in a straight line, but they would not cooperate :0(

Coping With Terminal Stillness

Going Home AloneSanity Is Boring

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