Stories For Thing

The mystery of the missing Dad. Part 1

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In a place, not so far away, and not so long ago, a girl called Tara lived with her family. They were a lovely family. Her mummy was petite, and had the prettiest, softest curls. She made the yummiest soups and the best kinds of cakes, and every time Tara’s friends came to tea, she made them jam sandwiches with fresh baked bread, and cupcakes! And her daddy was the best daddy ever. He took her piggy back riding, and taught her to climb trees, and ride bikes, and even took her out on his little boat. He was a fisherman, you see. A fisherman, living by the sea.

Every morning, even before the sun rose, her daddy would go out with his nets and his best friend and Pogo, their dog. They’d go out to sea, to where the waters were the warmest, because everyone knows fish always come flocking to the warmer waters. His best friend Paul would man the engines, as Tara’s daddy would set the nets. Then, they’d find another warm spot and stop the boat and set the nets again. Sometimes, they’d go to the rocky coves and put out the crab pots to catch crabs in. The fish-market always had good use for crabs. Tara liked the crab pots the best. Her daddy always took her with him when Paul had to go into the city for business. As Tara grew older, her father and Paul taught her things about fishing, and boating, and even crabbing! Paul always said Tara was the bravest girl he knew, because she wasn’t afraid of the giant claws.

When Tara was ten, Paul and her daddy made her a little boat for her birthday. They told her she could take it out on the water, as long as she promised to stay in the inlet near their home. She always took Mooney, her puppy, and Jimmy, her friend from school, every time she went out on her boat. They always had so much fun, with the little skiff going faster than any ten year old, taking them to the shallows on the other side of the inlet, where they would splash about till Tara’s mum called them back from across the water.

Soon, it became a year, and another, and Tara and Jimmy were now twelve. That year, there weren’t so many fish in the warm waters. That year, Paul and Tara’s dad had to go further out into the sea, for all the fish were staying so far from the shores. And the crabs? Why, there were no crabs at all! So, Tara’s dad and Paul and the boat, they’d go off further and further, and sometimes, they wouldn’t return for two or three days at a time! On those days, Tara’s mum kept her close and at home. She worried so much, she forgot her recipes and her cupcakes would end up so terribly rocky, Tara and Jimmy’d use them as paper weights for all their homework!

One day, Tara’s dad didn’t return. He didn’t return after two days, or after three. Tara’s mum worried herself sick, and Tara’s auntie Pam had to come over, which was terrible, of course, for Pimmy didn’t like the sea, and she was the worst cook in the world. She wouldn’t even help Tara with her homework as Tara’s mum would. Two weeks passed, and there were no signs of Tara’s dad, or Paul, or their boat. The Coast Guard sent a boat, then two boats, then a helicopter, and then two helicopters and two boats! And still, no one could find Tara’s dad or Paul or their boat. On hearing this, Tara’s mum got so sick, Pam had to take her to the hospital, leaving Tara home alone all day. Tara would wake, go to school, come back home, clean up the house a little as her mum had told her to, then she’d go up to her room with her puppy and stare at her boat. She missed her little boat so very much! She missed going out on the water, with her dog and her best friend. When her dad gave her the boat, he’d told Tara it was a boat worthy of the Princess of All Seas, so every time Tara went on the boat, she always felt like royalty. She’d sit on the edge, with her feet dangling into the water, and fish would come nibble at her toes like the boys in the movies kissed all the fancy girls on their hands. Tara loved that it made her feel pretty and smart and brave, at the edge of adventure.

So one day, when Aunt Pam was at the hospital with her mum, Tara snuck down to Jimmy’s house and dragged him out.

“Oh we can’t,” said Jimmy, who was deathly afraid of Aunt Pam and her tightly bunned hair and her unsmiling mouth.

“We have GOT to,” said Tara, adding, “plus, we could find them. We could find Dad and Paul and then Mum will be better and Auntie Pam will go away and everything will be wonderful again!”
Jimmy wondered. “How will we find them, Tara?”

“Well, we can ask the fish. Dad always said I was the Princess of All Seas. The fish’ll tell me if I ask.”

Jimmy wasn’t sure they would, but he was a good friend. He knew, if he said so, Tara’d go without him, and then they’d both get into even more trouble. So he nodded, and off they went. They loaded up on water, and stole some bread from Jimmy’s mum’s kitchen, and took the boat out to the farthest side of the inlet. There were always fish there. Tara leaned over the boat, and asked them, Have you seen my dad? He has a boat that went out to sea almost a month ago, and no one has seen him since. Help me please, so he can come back, and my mum can feel better.

At first, nothing happened. The fish, they continued swimming in mad colourful streaks. Again, Tara said, Help me! I have to find my dad! He went to look for the fish, and now he’s gone. I am the Princess of All Seas! Tell me where he is!

The fish stopped. Swished their tailfins. Scattered into a hundred directions. Alone on her boat, with Jimmy, Tara missed her daddy and started crying. Suddenly, she felt something silky butting against her leg, and heard Jimmy squeal; She opened her eyes and looked down, to see a wizened head poke out of a mossy shell. The head bit at her pant leg and started pulling. She knew Jimmy scrambled up, and reached for her, but before he could grab her hand, the old turtle had pulled Tara off the boat!

By MyCrotchetyLuv

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