2000 words Literary Fiction
A nature photographer encounters a penniless woman who entertains the pelicans as she struggles to maintain herself in a shack on the river, until floods change their future.
I’d been up river by daybreak, and was drifting back on the outgoing tide with a couple of rolls of exposed film in the camera bag when I saw her having breakfast, out among the oyster leases. “Bloody idiot!” she bellowed. Rising with difficulty from the padded velvet lounge on the decking, she shook her fist at a launch that puttered at rather more than regulation speed past her doddery shack, rocking it slightly on its piles. A swarm of seagulls rose screaming. A dozen ungainly pelicans flopped into the water, performed a stately circle, and flapped back to waddle round her feet.