DAY 12 of the Flashnano Challenge. Flashnano is a challenge that involves writing 30 stories in 30 days throughout the month of November. A new writing prompt every day. As a reminder, at this stage I don’t edit these it’s simply raw, off the top of my head writing. Later, I’ll go through any that have potential and edit them. Thanks for reading.
PROMPT 12: Write a Story Set on a boat
I can admit it now, I hate fishing. I’ve always hated it. Hell, I hate the taste of fish. I hate water, I hate boats. I hate waiting for a bite. I hate it all.
But every Saturday, as long as weather permitted, I loaded up my pickup truck with all my gear in the back and drove over to my dad’s place down the road to pick him up. He’d grunt hello and hand me a travel mug of coffee with “Born to Fish” on the side. I’d take a big gulp of the piping hot coffee, put my truck in gear and drive to the lake. Dad left his old wooden boat tied up there. We’d walk along the trail that led to lake without saying a word. Dad hadn’t been feeling well and our walks to the boat took much longer than they used to. We never spoke. When we got to the boat dad was breathing hard. I knew to not ask him if he wanted to skip it today. I knew that wasn’t an option. Instead I put my gear in the boat and climbed in. He took the old wooden oars and rowed us out a ways. He used to row us out to the middle of the lake, but he couldn’t do that anymore and he’d never let me takeover. This was our routine.
When dad stopped rowing he’d put down the oars and reach over for his rod, bait it and cast off. I’d follow suit. We’d fish quietly for a few minutes and then dad would start talking. He’d tell me stories about how he and mom met and how he loved her laugh and how pretty she looked every Sunday when they went to church. He’d also tell me how much he missed her. I knew he did, the day she died a light went out in him and it broke my heart. But, he came alive again telling me stories about he and mom. He’d laugh so hard telling the same story about the time Uncle Mike’s goat chased mom around the farm. I laughed too. This is why I went fishing every Saturday with dad since mom passed. Sometimes we caught fish, sometimes we didn’t. I didn’t care, I came to hear daddy laugh.
When we were done we’d row back to shore, tie the boat up and wordlessly walk back to the truck. I’d drive him home, and as he got out of the truck, I’d say, “Next Saturday?” He’d reply, “Yup” and I’d drive home.
But, there’d be no more Saturdays of fishing with dad. He passed away quietly in his sleep two days after our last trip. He’d been sick so long it felt like a blessing that he went quietly without any pain. He was with mom now and that gave me some comfort. I can’t lie though, I wouldn’t miss fishing.
The following Saturday from habit I woke up before dawn. I made a pot of coffee and sat at the kitchen table and stared out the window as it brewed. With a sigh I walked to the bedroom and put on an old sweatshirt and jeans and slipped on my sneakers. I went back to the kitchen and took out my “Born to Fish” mug and filled it with coffee. Then I loaded up my truck and headed to the lake, maybe I’d go fishing just one more time.