Before the Bridge was Built

Without the bridge, there were two ways to cross to the island, by boat or by wading across the ford, which was passable only at certain times of day and on some days not at all. The thin-faced priest had assumed it would be easy to find a boat, but rumours of his mission had gone before him and the fishermen seemed deaf to his hailing and hollering from the shore. As they made their way to and fro along the narrow channel, their backs turned steadfastly towards him, they sailed so close that he could clearly see the patterns on their jerseys, but they continued to ignore him. What childish behaviour these fishermen exhibited, taunting him in this way. But they were like children, he reminded himself, and it was his duty to teach them how to put aside childish things. If only he could reach the island.

A short story published in the Skye Reading Room’s anthology of poetry and short fiction, Words from an Island, edited by Meg Bateman. Other contributors include Ian Stephen, Kevin MacNeil, Maoilios Caimbeul, Deborah Moffatt, Mary Robinson and Catrìona Lexy Chaimbeul. You can order a copy here.