Chapter Six

Tonight they would be having raw fish. While not a staple, the dish was a delicacy shared with guests, which tonight would be Joma’s grandparents.

Over the years Joma had learnt that the best served raw fish came down to two things – good fish and masterful preparation. There was no question about fish quality. The seas around the island were teeming with fish thanks to a healthy ecosystem fostered by an aware community. His mother’s prowess with a knife took care of the other part of the equation.

Originally, Joma couldn’t fathom that the angle of a cut could dictate flavour, though recognised a distinct difference between the fish he prepared versus the experienced hand of his mother. He continued to chip away at the art, enjoying the challenge, but was still years away from reaching the calibre of his mother.

“I saw Mariusz at the markets today,” his mother said as she placed a small fillet onto a dish. “Oh yeah,” Joma replied nonchalantly. “He mentioned you had asked him about crafting a boat for long journeys,” she said with a grin. Joma let out a sigh, “The old man doesn’t keep much to himself does he?” he asked rhetorically. “Maybe it’s time for me to grow up and leave the village,” Joma postulated while tentatively sizing up a fish.

“Don’t be silly Joma, you’ve barely been out of the harbour. Besides where would you go and what would you do?” she questioned as one would talk to a child who had ambitions to travel to the moon. “Hopefully I learn along the way,” Joma responded in a sombre tone.

His mother fumbled and dropped a piece of fish upon realising her son was serious about this journey.

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