Paulo took a deep draw on his cigarette as he stared out over the blue horizon. Standing at the edge of the long, wooden pier, he listened to the gentle rush of the waves, along with the thunking of many small rowboats. Every sea-worthy vessel was tied.
He heard the familiar footfalls of Marcus coming up behind him, followed by the pattering of smaller feet. Paulo took a final puff of his cigarette, then tossed it out into the water. The butt hissed briefly, before a fish swam up and sucked it into its mouth. Paulo watched it go, wondering if the thing would swallow and choke on it, or if it would have the sense to spit it out.
“It’s a no go,” said Marcus, in smooth Portuguese. “
sealed its boarders, and that means The Gambia is cut off as well. They’ve got
a marine blockade up, just past the horizon. Everyone’s fenced in; anyone
caught more than two miles out to sea will be detained and forced to shore, on
threat of death. Going to be hell on the fishermen.”
Paulo mulled this over, then turned to his friend. Both men were swarthy, dressed in white slacks and shirts, sunglasses and straw hats with wide brims to help fend off the sun. Both also wore backpacks, holding all their belongings. With the way things were going, pickpockets and swindlers were being particularly bold in their efforts. Both men didn’t dare leave their packs unattended.
“No planes?” said Paulo.
“Everyone’s grounded,” he said. “Assuming we could even make it to an airport, the military still has them all locked down.” He sighed.