Dark Man lived on Crooked Island. His people had been slaves. They were free now.
Poor, but free, and Dark Man was one of the best fishermen in the Bight of Acklins.
Waking at day clean his wife cooked a meal and he left Maddie with a kiss.
"I goin ta sea."
"All a ya come back from sea too."
The day was good for late-August.
The sky was clear and he had no Wybin’ with nobodys on the island.
All was peace. No Camolly on anyone and he walked down to the shore.
Old town was sleeping late.
Old Fly asked, "What da wybe is?'
"I goin to sea."
"Same always. Conchy Joe."
"I know dat."
Dark Man had no troubles with no Joes. White people had their ways. He let them have them as long as they paid a fair price for his catch.
Young Boy was already on the boat.
He was a good jack. They fished together always. Young Boy was never fast or a leg short. He was as honest as they come and the two of them, dey spirit agree.
"Pull on dem sheets,"shouted Dark Man.
The boat pulled away from shore heading into the Gulf Stream.
Da wind was biggety and Dark Man studied the sky.
An eye for an eye. The sky bear'd watching.
Findin conch was good.Bettah than Crooked Island.
Dark Man dove the deep wata.
Da wind blew steady and strong.
The hold was filling with fish.
Dey took a small-um shark off Plana Cay.
Young Boy didn'y the sky.
"Time we go to home."
"Mussi you right."
Not a long way on land.
Too long on sea when da wind blow.
Da morning came and the boat was broke.
Young Boy was gone.
A shark took his place.
Showin sef to be a bad fish.
Dark man had no sweet water.
Da sharks were many.
Dey wanted his soul. Dey hungry for his flesh.
They got none.
Thy saved Dark Man's life.
Some day ship come. Save his soul. Take him back to Maddie.
Dat day come for sure.
One day soon.