Cast Ashore — a novelette in 15 chapters

Cast Ashore: Chapter 15


Steve Fendt
3 min readNov 12, 2023


‘Ripple’ — author image

First thing on Saturday morning, I send Kaja a text. Scant thirty words, but it takes me half an hour to write and rewrite them.

Hello, love. Can you get away from the store for half an hour this morning? I have something important to say. I’d prefer to tell you here, if possible.

She responds:

What is it, my love? Never mind — I’ll be there at 10 xx

When she comes to the door, I’m waiting for her. She’s pale; I see confusion and sorrow in those storm-blue eyes. She has composed herself for bad news.

I love her in this moment more than I have ever loved anyone. I love her more than life.

I kiss her lightly on the cheek. She lets it happen. I ask her to sit down. She sits. I sit opposite her. Then I tell her. Everything.

She listens quietly. When I’ve finished, she sits for a few moments more, nodding, as if I were still talking, her eyes on the floor.

My heart sinks. I always thought that a hackneyed phrase, but as it turns out, it’s merely a true and accurate description. I actually feel my heart sink in my chest. I feel crushed by my shame, the enormity of my loss.



Steve Fendt Short stories, serial fiction, memoirs of a possibly quasi-true nature. Stories of the Australian beach and bush.