The Vanishing Fisherman

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
A Ghost story.

Submitted: April 12, 2016

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Submitted: April 12, 2016

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The vanishing fisherman.

By

Jack Edwards

 

Jim Fairbrother was an oil rigger and was returning home after three months in the North Sea.  He was home for a well-earnedthree weeks leave; this would be one leave he would remember for a very long time.

 

It was 5.0 o’clock in the morning as I stepped off the train at Reading station.  “Home at last.”  I said as I slammed the train door shut.  “Be nice to have a rest and of course a few beers as well.”

 

I decided to walk from the station rather than take a taxi, it wasn’t that far and it was a nice morning for mid-April, so I took the short cut pass the old island.The council in their wisdom had revamped it up a bit and placed a bronze statue at one end to make it more attractive.I wondered how long it would all last considering the vandalism in the area.Having stopped and lit a cigarette I glanced across at the statue with the early morning sun shining on its face.

 

We must be the only idiots up at this time of the morning mate.” I said to myself. Just at that moment I heard a splash. Wandering where it came from I looked up and saw another fisherman at the other end of the island, but this one wasn’t a statue, it was real.

I carried on walking until I was right opposite him, and stood watching for a few minutes.  He didn’t speak just turned and grinned slightly as if to acknowledge my presence.

 

 

He did seem a little strange as most fishermen I had seen always appeared to have too many clothes on, even in the height of summer.  All he was wearing was jeans and a sweatshirt and beside him was the usual tackle box the size of a shopping trolley.

 

He turned his head in my direction, again I noticed his face was without warmth and with very little colour.

“Good morning?”  I said breezily

“Morning.” He replied. As he cast his line into the still water.

“Had any luck?”  I asked.

“No. I never have any luck in this part of the river.” He retorted.

That’s a strange thing to say I thought to myself.  “Why don’t you try further downstream then?”

This time he glared at me.  “I couldn’t do that.”  He said. “I must always fish here.”

I asked him if he knew it was the close season.  He didn’t answer, it wasn’t until I started to walk away that he made any comment.

“It’s never the close season for me.”  He said rather acidly.

 

“Strange man.” I muttered. I carried a few yards until I came to some steps, the same steps that overlooked the biggest biscuit factory in England, where I remembered as a small boy, running to meet my dad from work. Alas, now all gone.

Why I don’t know, but I paused on the top of the steps and turned around to have another look at this strange fisherman, but he was gone...it was like he had just disappeared.I had only gone a few yards so how could anyone vanish so quickly carrying a large fishing box. 

 

 

 

Scratching my head in disbelief I walked back to where I had been talking to him, there was no trace of him ever being there. 

I walked over the footbridge to where he had been and was amazed to see that the grass wasn’t even flattened; it was as if no one had ever set foot on the island.By now I wasn’t sure what to think.

 

“Oh well.” I mumbled.  I walked back over the bridge and down the steps in the direction of home.  I turned around a couple of more times and looked at the island until I finally lost it from view.

 

By now I was nearly home, I lit my last cigarette and tossed the empty packed in one of the new style bins that now adorned this part of the river front.  As the packet landed where I had skilfully thrown it, I instinctively looked in the bin, simply because it was waist high.  I wish now I hadn’t. The bin had not been emptied recently and on top was a copy of the local newspaper.  I quickly snatched it from the bin because there looking at me was a photograph of the man I had spoken to less than fifteen minutes ago.

 

The heading read as fallows; The body of the man found in the river Kennet three days ago was identified as local fisherman Alan Scott.

 

 

 

 

Ends.

 

 

 



© Copyright 2017 Jack Edwards. All rights reserved.

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