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The Gift -- Flash Fiction for 7/17/20

This week's Fiction Writers Group 300-word flash fiction prompt is

The Gift

Sartor watched the ebbing tide draw his fishing boat out to the length of its bow line as the sun dipped below the horizon with a green flash. Sartor looked down at the writhing net of fish at his feet. Today's catch was massive. Several times he strained his back pulling the heavily laden net into the boat. He turned and whistled for a fellow, much less successful, fisherman. For the price of a few squirming fish, he helped Sartor haul the rest to the fishmonger.

The bag of coins jingled at Sartor’s belt on his way to the silverwright’s stand. With his prize in his hand and fish slung over his shoulder, he hurried home.

Bursting through the heavy cloth that served as a door, he found only an empty room. Jazmine should have been preparing the pot for the fish he carried. Instead, he heard retching sounds from the back of the hut. He rushed forward as Jazmine came through the back flap wiping her mouth on the sleeve of her dress.

“Are you all right? You look so pale.”

Jazmine smiled. “I’m fine. Really…what’s in your hand?”

For a moment, Sartor had forgotten his gift, but then the silly grin returned. “I had a huge catch, today.” Jazmine eyed the fish now scattered about the floor with a wry smile. “No, really. This is just a small portion. I had more than enough to buy you this.”

He opened his hand and the bright silver glinted. “Oh, my.” Jazmine’s voice was hushed. “It’s beautiful.” Sartor beamed, but then Jazmine shook her head and his face fell.

“Don’t you like it? I can exchange it for something else if you don’t.”

Jazmine nodded. “Yes, you need to exchange it…for a baby rattle.”

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