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The Wave Crests of Fishers Past


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Story Title: The Wave Crests of Fishers Past
Type of story: Short/long fic (undecided)
Main Characters: Alan Nash, Ryder Jackson, Dean Thompson, Alf Stewart, Martha Stewart, Roo Stewart, Marilyn Chambers, others
BTTB rating: G
Genre: General.
Does story include spoilers: No
Any warnings: No
Summary: Over 20 years after Rebecca and Travis Nash sailed away from Summer Bay, their 18 year old son comes to stay with the Stewarts and experience the beaches of where his family grew up.


Chapter One

The Surf Club

Dean Thompson was checking his To-Do list for the day.  He had a surf lesson to teach at 10am, then a delivery of surfing supplies was due to arrive at lunchtime.  At 1pm, there was a note to meet with Ryder.  He sighed - knowing Ryder, he’d probably be waiting for a while.

All he knew is that some relative of the Stewarts was coming to see if he could get a job helping with Ben’s Boards and the surfing school.  He’d written down the name of his potential new employee: Alan Nash

He recognised the name “Alan” from the trophy he’d won at the Summer Bay Classic surfing competition, the Alan Fisher Memorial Cup, but he couldn’t work out if there was a link between them.


The Beach

Alan Robert Nash knew that most of his family had grown up in Summer Bay.  It was where his parents had met nearly 25 years ago and had married on the beach,  It was where his best friend and first cousin once removed, Bella-Rose, had been born.  And it was where his namesakes, Uncle Alan and Aunt Bobby, had died.

Alan’s cousin Sam had taught him and Bella-Rose to surf together when they were younger, and he’d often told them about and shown them pictures of the beach in Summer Bay.  When Bella-Rose finished high school, she’d taken 16 year old Alan on a roadtrip of all the top surfing spots that her dad loved, but they didn’t quite make it to Summer Bay as Bella-Rose needed to get ready to start university.

He pulled his Kombi van into a parking space near the beach and looked at his watch.  His mum had texted him with the instructions to meet his second cousin Ryder outside the Summer Bay Surf Life Saving Club at 1pm.  An hour would be enough to have a first taste of the waves here, right?  He jumped out of the van, grabbed his surfboard and ran down the beach, feeling the hometown sand of Fisher family surfers before him between his toes.

Paddling out, Alan made a note to himself to text Bella-Rose about the waves here.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for reading the first chapter.  This one is a bit longer and has some updates on a few other Fisher family members.


Chapter Two

The Beach

As Alan stood outside his van, wiping himself down with a towel and putting a clean T-shirt on after his surf, a young man in a striped T-shirt and an unbuttoned, flamingo-print shirt walked towards him.  Alan had met Ryder once before a few years ago when Uncle Alf and Aunty Roo had brought Ryder to Grandma Barbara’s birthday party and introduced him to more of the family.  He knew that Ryder was the same age as Bella-Rose, and that Ryder’s mum was a musician who had worked on cruise ships like his own mum, so he supposed that gave them something in common.

“G’day Ryder!” Alan called.

“Hey Alan,” Ryder said.  “Welcome to Summer Bay!  I’ll introduce you to Dean, and then I have to go upstairs for work.  When you’re done, come to the bar and I’ll make you a cocktail on the house.”

“Sure,” Alan replied, following Ryder inside the Surf Club.

Ryder stopped at Ben’s Boards and knocked on the counter.  Dean turned around from arranging stock.

“Dean, this is my cousin Alan.”

“G’day,” Alan reached out to shake Dean’s hand.

“G’day Alan,” Dean replied.

“I’ll see you later,” Ryder called, hurrying up the staircase towards Salt.

“Hey, are you related to Alan Fisher?” Dean asked.

“Yeah, he was my uncle.  Did you know him?”

“I didn’t, but I recognised the name from this surfing trophy I won in a local comp a few months ago and I knew he was related to Mr Stewart.”

“Yeah, he was Uncle Alf’s sister’s son.  Mum said he quit school and was planning to surf professionally,” Alan tried to remember the stories he’d heard about his mum’s brothers and sister who he had never met.  “Grandpa wasn’t very happy about it, but he tried to get him a sponsorship with some big-bucks development firm.  When he died, Mum was 15 and he was about my age.  He collapsed on the beach here and died in hospital.”

“That really sucks,” Dean sympathised.

“Are you going to show me the ropes?” Alan swiftly changed the subject.

“Yeah.  The first stop is the beach for a group surfing lesson,” Dean led the way out of the Surf Club.  “Have you ever tried teaching before?”

“I helped to teach my cousin’s twins to surf.  They’re eleven.”

“Well, we mostly teach clients who are a bit older than that,” Dean unlocked the Surf Club equipment shed.  “Mostly tourists.  Ryder finally learned to surf with a bunch of schoolies visitors when he finished his exams.”

“Ryder probably wouldn’t stand a chance, but I reckon I could give you a run for your money in the surf comp next year.”

“In your dreams, mate!” Dean chuckled.




“I’ll have that blue thing you made for me once,” Roo told Ryder as she settled on a stool at the bar next to Alan.

“The drink you said looked ‘toxic’?” Ryder quizzed.

“Actually, it was nicer than I’d expected.”

Aunty Roo had been in the same year as Uncle Alan and Aunt Bobby at school, and she’d been pregnant when Uncle Alan died.  Alan knew that Roo had married Bobby’s ex-husband, but it hadn’t worked out between them either.

“How was your first day at Ben’s Boards?” Roo asked.

“It was great,” Alan replied, sipping on his own cocktail.  “I haven’t made a big sale yet, but I sold some board wax and led a surf lesson.  Dean asked about Uncle Alan.”

"Ah yes, one of the local surf competition judges happened to be called Alan, which made me think of your uncle so I suggested his name for the trophy for the competition, and Dad told me to call your grandparents to ask for their approval," Roo explained. "Surfing was what Alan loved doing most."

Roo's phone rang.

"Hey Maz. Yeah, we'll be home for dinner soon." Roo turned away from her phone to address the boys. "Dad has caught some fish for your welcome dinner, and Marilyn wants to know what cake to bring home from the Diner?"

"Chocolate!" Ryder called over his shoulder as he left to take a customer's order.

"I'll have some chocolate too please," Alan agreed.

"Two slices of triple chocolate and one slice of carrot cake please," Roo instructed down the phone to Marilyn.  “We’ll be home as soon as Ryder finishes his shift.  See you soon.”



Summer Bay House

“So what do I call my grandfather’s ex-wife?” Alan jokingly asked Marilyn at the long dinner table of Summer Bay House.

“Marilyn or Maz is fine,” Marilyn blushed.  “And how is Donald?”

“He’s great,” Alan replied.  “Seb and his wife had another little girl called Jemima a few months ago, so Granddad is fussing over her all the time.  Seb asked one of his photographers to do a newborn and family photoshoot for them,”

Alan scrolled through his phone for the photos and started passing it around the table. 

“Awww, she reminds me of when Byron was a baby,” Marilyn gushed.

“And how are the twins and Sam and Sandy’s girls?” Roo asked?

“Anna and Bryony are starting high school next year, and so is Summer.  Bella-Rose will be finishing her Sports Science degree soon.”

“Five Fisher great-granddaughters must be a big change from three grandsons, eh?” Alf chuckled.

“Alan, your mum left a message with me for you to call her before you get ready for bed,” Roo remembered.

“How are Rebecca and Travis?” Marilyn asked.

“Dad is on the local environmental initiatives council, and he’s still fishing and doing a community radio show in his free time.  Mum is still teaching at my old high school.  She has definitely increased the number of students studying Music for the HSC, and she’s getting great grades out of them too.  She got a distinction in grade 8 piano out of me.”

“How are you going to keep up with piano while here?” Roo asked.

“I have a keyboard in my Kombi, but I don’t know where to keep it yet.”

“We have a spare room downstairs if you need somewhere to set it up and practise.” Alf offered.

“Thanks, Uncle Alf.  I’ll bring it inside right now,” Alan put his plate in the sink and headed towards the door.  “Come on, Ryder.”

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  • 1 month later...

I'm back with Chapter 3.  There were a couple of scenes that took a lot more time than others and I don't know if there's too much speech.  Feedback would be much appreciated.


Chapter Three

The Beach

The following Saturday morning, Alan was returning to where he’d left his towel after his first sunrise surf in Summer Bay when Ziggy Astoni ran down the beach towards the ocean with her own surfboard.

“Hey, do I know you from somewhere?” Ziggy asked, double-taking.

“Yeah, you might,” Alan replied.  “It’s Ziggy Astoni, right?”

“Yeah, it is.  I think I’ve seen you surfing up the coast before.  You’re Bella-Rose Marshall’s cousin?”

“It’s Alan Nash.”

“It’s great to see you again,” Ziggy put down her surfboard to give her old surfing friend a hug.  “What brings you to Summer Bay?”

“The waves and my family, mostly.  I got a job at Ben’s Boards at the Surf Club.”

“You’re working for Dean Thompson?”

“Yeah, my mum called Uncle Alf to tell him that I’d be coming to stay here for a while, and he thought that a job at the board shop could be a good fit for me.”

“You’ll soon learn that everybody knows everybody around here.  Dean and I are a bit “on-and-off”.”

“Ooh, I sense a story there,” Alan nudged Ziggy playfully.  “Tell me what I need to know about my new boss.”

“Not before I go for a surf,” Ziggy blocked the question.  “I might tell you over a coffee later though.  You had breakfast yet?”

“I’m about to meet up with Ryder and his friends for breakfast at the Diner, but then we’re just going to see where the day takes us.”

“How about drinks at Salt?  It’s upstairs from the board shop.”

“I know.  Aunty Roo and I had drinks there while Ryder was working last night.”

“How does 8 o’ clock sound?”

“It’s a date!” Alan confirmed, putting on his shoes and gathering his things together to leave.

“See you later,” Ziggy headed out into the waves.



Pier Diner

"So Alan, did you have a girlfriend at home?" Chloe flirted while she waited with Ryder, Nikau and Alan for Bella and their breakfast to arrive.

"Excuse me," Ryder protested, "your boyfriend is literally sitting right here."

"Well, what if I got bored of you?" Chloe shrugged.

"But he's my COUSIN!"

"You're not the one who's dating him, Ryder," Nikau piped in.

"I heard that our mums once dated the same guy," Alan told Ryder.

"Ewww," Ryder shuddered in disgust at this information about his mother's former dating life.

"You mean Steven Matheson?" Marilyn asked, delivering a tray of milkshakes to the teens' table.

"Yeah, Mum and Dad are still great friends with him," Alan replied.  “He and Selina have two girls and a boy now.”

"I dated him too for a short time," Marilyn admitted.

“You did?” Ryder asked, intrigued.

“Yes, we did the HSC together, and then when he came back to teach at Summer Bay High for a while, I asked him to teach me some self-defence and I quite literally fell for him.  He has a black belt in karate.”

“Do you remember any of those karate moves now?” Nikau challenged.

“Oh no, don’t be silly,” Marilyn blushed.

Ryder and Alan both pulled faces.

"Hey Marilyn, do you have any empty rubbish bags and anything we can pick litter with?" Alan asked.

"Yes, we have some in the kitchen. Why do you ask?"

"Well, Dad got me into youth environment and litter-picking campaigns, and I thought it could be a good idea to do a beach clean."

"I think that's a wonderful idea," Marilyn.  "Let Irene know what you're borrowing and help yourself."



The Beach

“This is boring,” Ryder moaned as he and Chloe trailed behind Alan, Bella and Nikau as they picked up litter on the beach.

“Yeah, I’d rather just lie down in the sun or go to the Surf Club for a gelato,” Chloe agreed.

“Come on, you guys,” Alan encouraged them.  “We need to save our beaches for the future generations of teenagers in Summer Bay.”

“And photographs of beaches filled with plastic look pretty gross,” Bella added, picking some plastic out of the sand and holding it up.

“And what if all this plastic got into the sea, huh?” Alan continued.  “My dad had a whale-watching business when he lived here and what if all those whales died because they swallowed plastic that YOU hadn’t cleaned up and then a vet opened up a whale that had washed up on the beach and found its stomach filled with little pieces of plastic?”

“But this plastic isn’t in the sea yet,” Ryder countered.  “It’s just on the beach.”

“Well, the birds could still accidentally eat it,” Nikau took Alan and Bella’s side.

“There’s already plastic in the sea and we don’t want to add more to it,” Alan explained.  “My cousin and I know Ziggy Astoni from some of our surfing trips and I ran into her when I went for a surf this morning, and I had the idea of going paddle boarding and doing a litter pick at the same time.  I’m going to mention it to her when we catch up over drinks at Salt tonight, and then I’m going to ask Alf if there’s any equipment at Salt that we can borrow.”

“That sounds like a great idea, but I think I’ll stick to litter-picking on dry land,” Bella grimaced at another piece of litter that she’d found.



“So he’s spent the entire duration of our relationship hiding the fact that he’d witnessed his best friend killing a man and had then helped him to hide the body,” Ziggy recounted the details of her messy relationship with Dean Thompson to Alan as she downed the remainder of her cocktail at a booth in Salt.  “Oh, and his best friend was a cop.”

“That’s wild,” Alan listened attentively as he also finished his own drink.  “Another round of the same?”

“Sounds good to me,” Ziggy took a quick glance at her watch.  It was still fairly early and her new boyfriend Tane was out of town for a few days, so it wasn’t like she had anyone at home expecting her.

While Alan was ordering drinks at the bar, his mobile buzzed.  Ziggy had a quick look at who it was from but decided it wasn’t her place to answer the call.

“Your phone rang while you were away,” Ziggy informed Alan as he returned to the table and passed her another cocktail.

“Thanks,” Alan replied, taking his mobile and scrolling through his missed calls.  “Anyway, do you still have feelings for Dean?”

“Well, he’s still the one who helped me through my divorce and fixed up a car with me to go racing in the bush,” Ziggy thought about the reasons why she still liked Dean.  “Dad left his business to him when he and Mum left for Italy, so he obviously trusted Dean.  He’s loyal and a great surfer.”

“I heard Bella say something about Dean having a kid.  What about their dad?” Alan asked.

“Amber?  It didn’t work out between them and they agreed to just co-parent Jai.”

“So the coast is clear?” Alan pressed.

“For what?”

“For you and Dean to give things another go.”

“I’m still seeing Tane, so I don’t really know what I can do about any feelings for Dean,” Ziggy shrugged.  “Maybe someday.”

Alan’s mobile buzzed again with an incoming call.

“Are you going to get that?” Ziggy asked.

“It’s just Bella-Rose,” Alan let the call go to voicemail and continued drinking.  “I’ll call her back later.”

Alan’s mobile soon buzzed again as a voicemail came through.



Summer Bay House

Roo was waiting at the dining table with some schoolwork and a cup of tea when Alan unlocked the door shortly after midnight.

“Sorry, did I keep you awake?” Alan whispered.

“Nah, I usually wait up for Ryder if he’s out late too,” Roo paused marking.  “Did you have a good night?”

“Yeah, I had a catch-up with Ziggy Astoni at Salt,” Alan went into the kitchen to get a glass of orange juice.  “I didn’t realise that I’m going to be working for her ex-boyfriend.”

“Ah yes, the rollercoaster ride of Ziggy Astoni and Dean Thompson,” Roo mused.  “Anyway, I’m going to head up to bed.  I’ll see you in the morning.”

Once Roo had gone upstairs, Alan sat down to listen to Bella-Rose’s voicemail:


“Hey Al, I hope you’re settling in well in Summer Bay.  Have you heard from Lily recently?  Dad said that Gypsy called to see if she’s been in touch with me because Lily hasn’t answered her calls or messages in over three weeks, but I haven’t heard from her either.  Gypsy’s getting a bit worried.  Call me back.”

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