Friday Fun

It’s Friday! That doesn’t mean as much to me as most.   I work every Saturday and most Sunday’s.  But still, I understand.  Tonight is Pirate night at Krispy Kreme.  Our pirate outfits are ready, no matter how tired I am I will be there for free doughnuts.

This morning I have been trying to upload The Fruitcake to Draft2Digital.  I’m sure it’s me having the difficulty and not the site.  There’s no telling what  I have downloaded, or how many times I did it! I have a tolerance for computers, but that’s it.  Thankfully, I’m married to my techno guru, I just have to wait for him to come home and help.  :{

I have a short piece of fiction to share.  It’s not enough for a short story, and I’m not sure where to go with it.  I’ve been working on it, on and off for a few years.  Enjoy!

C.K.

Gone Fishin’

It was tradition for my Daddy and I to go fishing on Father’s Day. A tradition that had lapsed over the last few years, but not this year. We woke before the sun. Daddy gathered the gear in his truck. While I threw chips, Cokes, chocolate bars, and sandwiches in a bag. He honked the horn and I grabbed a hat as I rushed out the door.

We drove through the dark early morning until we reached the boat launch. The sun was just peeking out from the horizon, sending ribbons of pink and purple across Mobile Bay. The air had a crispness to it, unusual for summer. Dawn had a feeling of adventure, of unending possibilities.

Daddy put the boat in gear and we eased passed the no wake sign, then he kicked it up and we sped off, into the bay. It always took awhile before Daddy found the perfect fishing spot. I figured he had some internal radar that reminded him of where he caught the ‘big one’ before. The first spot was never the right one.

He anchored near a patch of grass. I skewered a shrimp on my hook and cast it toward the horizon. Daddy told stories about living on a houseboat as a kid. Stories rich with unusual characters and endless summer days. I listened with eagerness, soaking up the tales of our history. I pulled back on the reel and watched my line send ripples through the murky water.

“Jean.” Daddy whispered. ” Look there.” He pointed to a section of grass about 10 yards from our boat. A bumpy gator slid out from his hiding place within the tall grass. He tucked his legs in and swished his tail back and forth, before disappearing under the water. I watched in amazement. He was beautiful and fierce.

“Time to move. There won’t be any fish here.” He said and reeled in his line. I followed suit and sat back as we zipped off toward the Battleship. The hulking mass sat idle near the shore. We turned a bend and headed toward the coal docks, where he set anchor once more.

“Put your line out and then let’s eat.”

“Aye, aye Captain.” I put fresh bait on my hook and cast it toward the open bay. It twisted and turned over itself before landing with a plop on the surface.

Daddy passed me a sandwich and drink. I had taken one bite when he said, “Looks like you have a nibble.” He pointed to the bobber dancing up and down in the water. “Don’t grab your pole yet, let the fish work on it a minute.” We watched the line go in and out. My hands itched with anticipation. The day felt hotter now. Sweat trailed down my face. The tip of my pole bowed over in an arch. I quickly grabbed it and turned the handle.

“Oh crap” I yelled. The fish pulled hard. I tugged on the pole as I reeled it in. The handle was stiff and fought with each revolution. I could hear my father giving advice, but it was drowned out by my heart beating in my ears. I planted the rod between my legs and I braced my feet against the wall of the boat. I wrestled with the fish pulling and reeling. Daddy grabbed the fishing net and stood ready for the big moment.

“Come on girl, reel it in!”

“I can’t he’s too big, you bring it in.”

“It’s your fish.” His face beamed. I fought with the fish, the line came closer and a streak of silver shot underneath the boat. The line pulled tighter.

“Hold on tight.”

My hands ached as I forced the handle to turn. The pole bowed at an odd angle, I thought it would snap before I brought in my prize. The fish shot back across the boat, Daddy thrust the net in the water and brought the fish up, and dumped him on the floor of the boat.
I stared at the slippery fish… but something wasn’t right. He had a sharp dorsal fin protruding from his back. It thrashed madly in the boat as Daddy cut the line from his mouth. Realization hit me…

“That’s a shark.” I yelled. I climbed over the tackle box and stood on top of the seat, putting as much distance as possible between me and the shark.

“Whoee. Look at that.” My Daddy’s rich voice filled the boat. Pride etched in the lines of his face. “Come on down and take a look. He placed his foot gently on the sharks snout. It was a small bull shark. I touched it’s skin as he wiggled in defiance. “Your Mama’s never going to believe this.” He said with a laugh.

“Daddy, where’s your camera?” I had to get a photo. This was my best catch ever, and I wanted proof.

“I’m sorry, I forgot the camera.”

“We can put him in the live well and take him home.” I said eagerly.

“Are you crazy? I’m not takin’ this thing home. Are you gonna put your hand in the well to get him out?” I didn’t think about that. I looked at my prize for another minute, soaking up every detail for future use. “Sorry, honey, but you’ll have to be happy with a fish tale.”

“That’s Ok Daddy…you can throw him back now.” I said with a smile. Daddy let lose a laugh large enough to be heard all the way back to the dock. He kept his foot on the snout and maneuvered the shark into the net. I took one last look before he lowered him into the water. A silver streak swam out of the net and disappeared under the boat. I gave Daddy a hug and watched the bay for any sign of my shark.

C>K>

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