The Dealt Hand

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A fishing trip does not go as planned for the protagonist.

Submitted: April 18, 2017

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Submitted: April 18, 2017



It had been a stifling hot August day. The pond on which myself and John Potter had been out on for an afternoon fishing trip, was a dead calm. Water like glass, reglettes of breaching trout grabbing at hovering flies littered the pond surrounding us.

So far we had been drifting for an hour without a single bite. Disappointing. It seems as though flies were the main entree today and no interest showed for the worms on our hooks.

“Nothing biting today.” Potter proclaimed, as obvious as it were.

“I think we shall head ashore. There will be fish another day.” I said.

For me that is. Not for John Potter.

Reeling in my line, as did John, I noticed his eyes flicker nervously to mine. Had he suspected my plan? No...of course not. Why, and certainly how would he suspect such an action from the man that shared his boat.

With lines in and rods stored, I began rowing the wooden boat across the clear glass water, that would soon become John Potter's deathbed. His conscious clear as the water beneath our rumps. Devoid of suspicion as the boat were of fish. It stood to reason my plan would require a hasty suddenness, with a hint of heart stopping surprise. He would neither  expect nor have time to react to my lunging towards him with the heavy oak ore, sending him over the portside with a blow to the head.

It had been a peaceful yet terrifying irony. Glittering sunlight reflections on water, with birdsong adept to sooth a wild beast. However failing to tame the beast growing in my chest. A proliferation of resentment for years of choice words, had finally rested its feet. They sit now, a conglomeration of fiery nerves ready to break. Fighting revulsion which could not, will not be subdued; my patience was essential. Act too soon and the tide would drift him into shore. The middle is where the tide breathes easy in this particular pond. It is there I need to be.

Patiently I waited for the right moment to strike. We were now nearing the center. There his fate will seal as it should have long ago. Oaring slowed, I announced my limbs need stretching.

“Would you like me to take over?” John said in the most condescending fashion he could muster.

“Yes, John. That would be great.” Standing, as did he to trade seats, I swung the oar with all my might. Terror washed his face, eyes bulged, but I had underestimated his swiftness. Ducking the blow, my weight shifted, sending me headlong over bowside. The rock, which protruded from the surface, like a proverbial chopping block had met my kiss. Wrapping me in darkness filled with dazzling light, twinkling like the afternoon sun's reflection. It was there I lay, floating like driftwood in the hot sun. Boat propelled away from the impetus tumble. The single oar swam peacefully towards the shore. A jealous envy shared by us both. Moreso myself than John; who found shore after the setting sun.

A funeral ensconced with wonder, and weeping confusion filled the room in which I lay my head. A finality that had not been intended, but somehow set. Set by the unknown force where faith reigns. Call it karma. Call it what you will. Cards had been dealt unceremoniously and I, had lost the hand.


© Copyright 2019 Steve Bursey. All rights reserved.

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