Short Fiction: The Fisherman

Long, swelling waves marched in, sparkling in the sunlight. The steady, breath-like ebb and flow, crash and release upon the shore brought a soothing counterweight to the fisherman’s enraged cursing. Standing on the rocks, he hurled his tackle box in disgust, and watched it splash and vanish, an insignificant blip in the ocean.

Never again would he thread line through sinker, tie swivel to line, trace to swivel, hook to trace. Nevermore would he stink up his fingertips skewering thawing prawns on jagged hooks. He had cast his last line, reeled his last cast; he had suffered his final, emasculating returned empty hook. Enough was enough.

He took his old surf rod by the thin end, raised it up like the sword of a triumphant warrior, and then whipped it down onto the flat stone before him, shattering the reel. Six years it had promised him flathead and tailor and mullet; six years it had brought him nothing but toadfish and seaweed. For the first time since he bought it, the fisherman took satisfaction in that rod as he threw it like a javelin into the water. As it flew to its burial at sea the tip of the rod quivered in remorse, but it was too late.

He breathed in… and out… It was over.

The fisherman vowed to never again be led astray by vain enticements and wishful thinking. Fishing was a game of chance, promising but never delivering. It swallowed time and money, and regurgitated disappointment. He was finished with it. He made the long, sandy walk back up the beach, glad to have renounced his foolish ways. As he passed the surf club he noticed a sign advertising half-priced beers and brand new poker machines. He went in.

 

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