Serial Story: Going Fishing

We had agreed to meet at the old rundown bait shop near the end of the road. I had told her that I would wait for her by the old wooden Indian that almost every old bait shop seemed to have. It was to be a simple picnic date out by the river. A little lunch. A little fishing. A little conversation. It was supposed to have been a simple getting to know you sort of date.

We hadn’t been dating that long. It was our third date, unless you count our first chance meeting at the grocery store. We had met over the watermelons and started talking about gardening and other hobbies. The next weekend had me heading over to her apartment to look over her tiny herb garden on her small balcony. Later that week she showed up at my tiny house in the woods to comment and help harvest a few of the vegetables from my own garden.

The fishing trip had been her suggestion. She had never fished before, but she was intent on learning as much as possible to be as independent as possible. I thought it was a grand idea, but somehow I couldn’t see her small, delicate hands cleaning fish or even baiting hooks.

Nevertheless, I found myself leaning against the wall, next to my Indian guard, as I mentally ran through the contents of my tackle box and the picnic basket. Even if she ended up being bored of the fishing expedition, I was determined to make a good day out of both the company and the fishing.

A dust cloud coming down the road had me standing straighter and brushing off the dust from the road. Even if it was just a third date, I wanted to make the right impression. We weren’t close enough to warrant introducing her to friends or family, but our easy conversations were surely a good sign for things to come.

“Hi Johnny!” I smiled as I took in her khaki shorts and tied back blonde hair. She had at least tried to dress the part, I thought.

“Hey Anna Belle,” I said, leaving the wall and walking over to her dust coated car. I gave her a quick hug in greeting before gesturing to both of our cars. “Did you want to ride out with me or did you want to take your car?” I knew that some girls, especially previously city girls, were gun-shy about giving up the control of driving to a guy, a relative stranger.

“Your car is fine,” she said as she started pulling fishing equipment out of her trunk. I was glad to see that she had her own tackle box and fishing pole. I had been concerned that she wouldn’t think to get her own equipment, but to be safe I had quickly dragged my old fishing pole out of storage. I figured at the very least we would both had poles and at the best I would have two lines in the water at once.

“I was thinking that we’d hit part of the river just a little bit down the road from here,” I suggested as I took her tackle box from her and put them with mine in my truck bed. “I’ve been told that there’s decent catfish out there.” Anna Belle nodded, but hesitated after adding her fishing pole to mine in the back of the truck.

“I suppose so,” she said. I walked around to the passenger door and held it open for her as my own father had taught me. “I had kind of hoped to trying some fishing out by the lighthouse.” I watched her climb in and made sure she was completely in before closing her door and making my way around the truck. I was trying to think fast to see if there were any reason why we couldn’t. I didn’t know what sort of tackle she had prepared for, but I had brought my larger box that had a little of everything.

“I reckon so,” I said as I slid into the driver seat. “I think I have enough tackle for the ocean.” I thought I remember putting a small aquarium fishnet in my truck just for catching bait fish. I might actually use it for once, I thought to myself.

“I always wanted to go out there,” she said happily. She just looked out her window, content, as I back my truck out of the parking lot. The lighthouse was just a short distance off from the bait shop. I figured that was the reason it had been built there. It was halfway between the two best fishing spots in the area. I didn’t usually go fishing by the ocean, but it wasn’t because I didn’t like the salty water. I just preferred the taste of the river fish. I had joked in the past about being a born and bred catfish man.

“It’s nice enough,” I said as I turned my truck off of the gravel road and down the path to the lonely lighthouse.


Brought to you Courtesy of:

Tell Me A Story Saturday – Writing Challenge – 5/17/14

(Somebody had to get me working on this idea again)


Serial Story: Going Fishing

“You want me to do what?” Johnny just stared at his boss in shock. He had sworn never to do that again. Not after the last time.

“It’s simple, just go with the man. He likes fishing. You like fishing. It’s perfect!” Johnny instantly decided that his boss was fully and truly insane.

“I do not like fishing. I used to like fishing. There’s a big difference.” Johnny crossed his arms and tried to stare down his boss, but to no avail. The man had been clearly taken with the idea.

“You just had one bad experience. That couldn’t possibly happen again. I mean really, loosing your cell phone off the side of a bridge at night? And your companion just leaving you in the lurch like that? That’s just ridiculous.” Johnny frowned, but didn’t say anything. How could he when he hadn’t told the true story the first time around?

“Still,” he started, not quite willing to give up on hope of getting out of the situation. “Surely someone else can do it.”

“You’re the only one without plans or with ability. Besides…” The man paused and glanced around furtively. “I heard that there might be an opening in the executive offices. It would look good for you and I’d be happy to recommend you.” Johnny groaned. He’d been trying to get out of the ground floor of the complex for ages, but would it be worth the cost?

“If it helps I’ll even drop by before dark to check up on you. My daughter’s science fair should be over by then.”

“Fine,” Johnny muttered darkly. His boss clapped him on the shoulder happily.

“Great! I’ll set things up and call you this evening with the arrangements. I’ve been told he’s a really great guy. A real story teller.” The man turned and made his way to his plush office, leaving Johnny to head back to his own cubicle alone.

“So he suckered you, did he?”

Johnny looked over the cubicle maze to see one of his few friends, Melinda smirking at him.

“I don’t want to do it, but he made a convincing argument,” Johnny tried to explain. He tried to keep his fear and doubt show.

“I bet he did. The exec is supposed to be a hard core fisherman. One of the long term guys in accounting said that he once caught a fish with his bare hands.” Johnny frowned at Melinda. He know that it was perfectly possible to do so, even though he had never had the patience to try. But to someone who had never fished, it would be extremely impressive.

“I heard that he once used a magnet to catch a fish that had stolen his bait, hook and all,” cut in one of the other guys in the office. Johnny rolled his eyes. Most hooks weren’t even attracted to magnets. It created the right affect as Melinda and a couple others gasped.

“I’m sure that’s just a blown up story,” Johnny insisted as he slid into his own cubicle. He wasn’t worried about the executive so much, but he did know that he would have more than the usual fishing equipment in his tackle box. Especially a flashlight. He barely suppressed a shudder as he began his task of shuffling through pages and pages of program error codes.

He was just beginning to drift into a daydream of his future office upstairs when the mail cart attendant tossed a letter on his desk. He frowned. No one ever wrote him at work. Not even customers. He fingered the fine envelope and turned it over to look for the return address.

He dropped the envelope in shock.

It couldn’t be.

The sender was Anna Belle Martin with a return address at her country estate.

Anna Belle had died at the river during his last fishing expedition.

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