Forsaken Dreams

The tar paper shack had been built quickly in the days of yore before the thought of inspections, zoning or regulations. It was placed on a spit of land, a beach dune really of shifting sand. It was a house of convenience rather than luxury. What was luxury anyway other than a roof over one’s head, four walls to keep out the constant wind that blows across the island and a stove to burn drift wood to keep back the damp chill.


The house didn’t rock. At least not in the same time frame of the deep sea fishing boat. After a week on the water anything that didn’t move was heaven on earth. Others join the little lonely house as the fishing village grew and fortunes of the hunting ground were discovered, exploited and depleted. Herring, cod, lobster, clams, mussels – bounty from the sea to be caught and shipped west to the city folks of St. John, Quebec, Montreal and even south by train to Boston and New York. Far away places with ways of life so foreign to the fishermen of Rustico.

But the little house on the beach did roll with the sands of time. Gone were the rough seaman as time past and the stocks dwindled. Now city people came on holiday to play in the water, eat by the sea and hire fishermen to ferry them around for sport. The waves of the dunes rolled the little house in its perch, pitching it slowly off kilter, the winds ripping at is tar paper siding, the ground opening to swallow it whole.

Edward M. Fielding –

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