The mill smelled of aged wood, grain and hessian, a rich tang of oil from the mechanism. Good smells.
As the cogs clunked and groaned, the millstones chafed, as the flour stiffened his hair and gritted his skin, he felt … clean. Finally clean after forty-six years.
He’d shed his old life almost completely. Even the broken nose and the webbing of scars could be talked away – a miller’s life was hard. Only the sailor’s gait – still rolling with the ocean – remained.
His heart beat to the rhythms of the mill … Until the past trudged with heavy boots to find him.
What kind of life has my reformed sailor led, do you think? And what form does his past take, lumbering along the mill race to destroy the comfortable present? Any ideas? Do tell.