A good day for fishing

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Boy goes fishing and makes a friend.

Submitted: February 10, 2019

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Submitted: February 10, 2019



Friday 13 July 2020

Owen is very excited. His mom and dad have given him permission to go fishing all by himself. It is still dark outside while he takes care of business in the bathroom. He wants to leave before anyone is awake. Quietly he pads downstairs to the kitchen. In the hallway he smells oatmeal. In the kitchen, lights are on, and Mrs Parker is at the stove in her robe and fuzzy slippers. She smiles "Good morning Owen, did you sleep well?". He sits at the long wooden table, clenched hands on his cheeks. "Mom I could have made my breakfast". Placing a bowl of steaming oatmeal on the table she says " I know Honey, but fishermen need a cook so they can get an early start". Owen knows his mom is worried. "I will be ten this year mom". Mrs Parker pours orange juice into a large glass and hands it to him. " Did you brush your teeth this morning?". Owen nods and drinks the juice. "Is Dad up too?". He asks. Mrs Parker brushes Owens hair away from his eyes. " No, your father is off work today, he wants to sleep in". Owen stands "Oh yeah I remember, I better get going mom".

In the garage Owen loads his backpack with a tackle box and the lunch Mrs Parker packed for him. He walks his red banana bike out to the street, checks for cars, and peddles off toward the trail leading to the lake. Heavy dew carpets the grass and fog obscures the treetops. Owen feels a chill, but is encouraged when he sees the sun begin to rise over the distant mountain. Nearing the trailhead Owen tries braking, nothing happens. He is speeding toward the trail map sign. Owen knows the chain has come off the sproket again. He drags his feet then quickly lays the bike on its side, sliding to a stop, inches from the sign. Owen pushes the bike off and stands, brushing the dirt off his jeans. "Wow that was close" he mutters. Owen lifts the bike and leans it against the sign. The smell of pine and mint make Owen inhale deeply. He can hear the stream that feeds the lake. 

Backpack strapped on and fishing rod in hand Owen starts up the trail. The sun is fully up now making Owen squint. He stops to get his hat from the pack. The hat shades his eyes and he starts off again. There is a meadow to his left and Owen spies several deer and a spotted fawn grazing. The fawn begins to jump and spin, playing in the high grass. Owen laughs causing the deer to stare at him. Suddenly a coyote appears running toward the fawn. Owen shouts "RUN, DEER, RUN". The deer and fawn bound away into the forest. The coyote stops and stares at Owen. " Not your lucky day, you sneak" He says. The coyote turns and trots away. Now the trail is rocky and roots cross it making Owen careful to choose his footing. A waterfall comes into view. It is twenty feet high, clouds of mist swirl in the pool below. Owen sits on a rock near the pool, he sees a school of minnow near the bank. A dark shadow in the water scatters the fish. Up pops the head of a river otter, then another and another. The three otters swim to the opposite bank. They climb out of the water and begin to wrestle with each other. Owen Laughs as he watches them play.

Owen shoulders his pack, picks up the fishing rod and starts up the trail. The call of a loon echoes through the forest. "I hear you loon, dont eat all the fish, save some for me",  Owen whispers. The park rangers have built a wooden bridge accross the stream. It is covered in green moss. On the other side bushes of huckleberries line the sides of the trail. Owen picks them, stuffing his mouth full. They are sweet, red juice runs down his chin. A bluejay lands on the branch of a nearby tree and its caws break the silence of the forest. Owen smiles " Have I stolen your berries, bluejay?". He continues up the trail and soon he is at the lakeshore. The suface of the water is like a mirror, reflecting the sun and a scattering of high clouds. Tall pines and white birch surround the lake. Where Owen stands is a clearing with a fire pit in the center. He unpacks the tackle box, assembles the fishing rod, ties on a bobber and lure. The first cast is a good one, the bobber hits the water causing small ripples that roll away in all directions. Owen wedges the but of the rod securely into some rocks. Sitting on a fallen log he unwraps a sandwich.

As Owen eats his lunch he hears a strange buzzing. It seems to come from everywhere. Suddenly a glowing ball of blue light appears above. It slowly decends into the forest not far from where Owen sits. The forest becomes eerily silent. Owen is frightened but he is also very curious. Shaking off the fear he decides to investigate. Following the trail that circles the lake and leads to where the strange light seemed to go, Owen comes to a small log cabin. It is nestled in scubby brush and willows. The logs are grey and weathered. The roof is shingled and in need of repair. A stone chimney pokes through it. There is a porch with two rickety stairs and a small dirty window next to a wood plank door. Owen walks closer. A dog barks. "Whos there!" a hoarse voice comes from inside. The door creaks open, a barking dog runs out. Owen stops not sure what to do. His heart pounds in his chest. "Settle down widget, only a boy there". An old woman appears in the doorway. The dog, a black labrador, sits at the edge of the porch.The woman has grey hair that is tied back in a bun. She is stout and wears a flowery blue dess. Her black shoes have large brass buckles. Small gold rimmed glasses are perched on her small nose. "Whatcha doin here boy?". Owen stares at the dog "Does your dog bite maam?". The old woman laughs "Dont know boy, aint my dog". She steps up to the dog "Just joshin ya boy, Widget aint mean" she smiles. The dog trots up to Owen and licks his hand.

After introductions, Mrs Manes and Owen sit on the porch. There is a plate of cookies and two glasses of iced tea on a tray between them. "Do you live here Mrs Manes?". Owen asks. Widget suddenly jumps up and runs into the forest. "Mr Manes and I would come here every summer for vacation". She looks out to the lake. Owen takes a sip of iced tea. "Where is Mr Manes now?". A gust of wind makes the door creak. Mrs Manes shuffles her feet. "Mr Manes pasted away last year, Bless his soul". Owen can see a tear in Mrs Manes eye. "Im sorry, it must be lonely for you". He whispers. Widgets frantic barking coming from the woods makes them stand. "Whats that dog into now?". says Mrs Manes. Owen walks a few steps toward the trail. "Did you hear a buzz and see a strange light a little while ago Mrs Manes?". Mrs Manes looks up "No, I was napping when I heard Widget bark". Another gust of wind slams the door shut making them both turn toward it. "Thanks for the tea and cookies Mrs Manes, I should be going now". Mrs Manes waves "Good bye Owen, come again soon". The sky is turning orange when Owen returns to the fishing spot. The bobber sits motionless on the water. Owen winds in the line, stows the tackle, shoulders the backpack. Starting down the trail he hears a dog bark. He looks back accross the lake and sees a man and a dog on the far shore. The man is waving. Owen waves back. The the man and dog walk into the woods.

Owen walks his bike into the garage, puts the pack and rod on a shelf. Opening the kichen door he smells spehgetti, Mrs Parker is there at the stove, she turns "Well hello there Hon. How was your day?" Just then Mr Parker walks in from the living room "Hey there sport, how was fishing, catch any?". Owen smiles "It was a good day for fishing, but not a bite". The parents look at each other. Owen says "Whens dinner,mom?". Mrs Parkers stirs a pot on the range "You go wash up, dinner in 15 minutes". When Owen leaves Mrs Parker asks her husband "Did you tell Owen about the accident at the lake?". Mr Parker takes a chair "No, no need to upset the boy". They hear the bathroom dorr close upstairs Mrs Parker says "So strange that they found the overturned boat floating in the lake but absolutely no sign of the Mares or even thier dog". Standing Mr Parker replies "It certainly was, I helped in the search for a week and all we found was a tray with a plate of cookies and two empty glasses on the cabin porch".


The end, or is it?.


© Copyright 2019 frank brickwood. All rights reserved.

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