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



The vanishing fisherman.


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 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.









© Copyright 2018 Jack Edwards. All rights reserved.

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