Trouble happens when a boy and his dad go fishing.
|Salt Stained Blood
The light bounced off the shimmering waters in such a refractive way that I had to shield my eyes from their diamondlike brilliance. I rocked back and forth, my feet splashing in the shallow puddle at the bottom of the motor boat. It was rented from Mr. Galahad's boats emporium, a small shack set out on the glimmering sea, where the wind blew in and salt spray shot up to cover the rocks. As we had pulled into the driveway, my dad called out to me when I shot out of the car, jumping around and smiling and laughing with excitement.
I had yet to catch a really big fish these days, but I was getting better, I knew I was. Dad even trusted me enough to let me carry the tacklebox, and as mr. mcnay and sir galahad bargained our way to a boat, I watched the big fish swimming in the giant blue sea, their shadows slithering along the slimy bay floor like snakes in seaweed grass. My eyes grew big. Were there sharks in these waters?
"Woo hoo!" I shouted. We were out on the open bay, with the salty breeze filling our nostrils and the scent of potato chips and cracked pepper not far behind. The gatorade bottle I lifted to my thirsty lips and gulped the refreshing stuff down. We were speeding out into the deep waters, and the wake from the boat splashed into my glistening hair. Water spilled over the edge of the boat, soaking my boots.
"It be the shinks bees to get away from the business. Especially after selling fifteen cars in a week!" Mr. Mcnay shut off the engine and cast out his rod, and my dad leaned back with a long town yawn and pulled his cap over his wrinkled brown eyes,
"Sure is, Mcnay, sure is..." And soon he was soft asleep, snoring upon the salty shores of the ocean. I cast out my line too, after carefully selecting the pulpy, juicy mess of squid-bait and smearing it on the hook. Once it was out there on the waters, there was nothing left to do but sit back and think, and think I did.
We came out here every year, me, my dad, and Mr. Mcnay. It started as a last ditch effort to get rid of my mom, and would've been a convienent excuse to say she had drowned. I don't know what happened to her after that, but I remember the look on my momma's face when my dad told her what he was planning to do. She had wrapped her arms around me as her face went pale as one of those geisha women I saw on TV. Sometimes my dad's voice get's real real low, and I have to strain to hear what he says. He said something like that then, and I couldn't hear him, but after that my mom was gone.
It's a shame. When I asked my dad about it, he started yelling at me and took out his belt. Right now I started thinking about all this, and it was kind of hard, but I chocked back my tears. I distracted myself with thinking how tasty would be the simmering cod I'd eat later today. My dad snorted right then, and I don't know why, but I almost jumped up two feet.
"Heh. Getting jumpy, eh dago?" Mr. Mcnay reached over and patted me on the head. "Don't be. Them fish be coming. I can feel it." I smiled at mister Mcnay and reached out for another sip of my Gatorade. This one's for you, mom, I thought as I swigged the drink down. After a while though, I began to doubt if there would be any fish biting today. The sun was no longer shining, but was covered in a cloak of white, foreboding clouds. And as I exhaled a deep sighing breath, a sharp cold wind slapped the waters before us, sending a wave of salt spray into the air.
It left a bad taste in my mouth. Suddenly, my dad straightened up and put the ball cap on tight.
"What be it?" Mr. Mcnay asked.
"A raindrop hit me." As if those words unleashed a magical spell, a flurry of raindrops began to make their presence know, growing in frequency and dampness until a full onslaught torrent of rain beckoned down onto our heads. Dad grabbed Mr. Mcnay by the shoulder. "Get us the hell out of here." He said, in that low tone of voice he so often had used with my mom. And it was then that I felt the most massive of tugs against the little line of my fishing rod.
"Dad!" I screamed, grabbing the pole and beginning to reel in. But he ignored me as mr. mcnay gunned the motor, about to race the blackening sky to the pier back on shore. But a surge of a wave hit the boat, and I flew through the air. At the moment, I wasn't that scared, though, only thinking I couldn't let go of the rod. I wanted that fish, it's fresh lemon juiced meat to be torn apart by my teeth. And then my entire body hit the water, which slapped my gullet so hard all the breath went out of me so that I couldn't even scream.
Yet scream I did. "Dad!" "Dad!" Salt stung my eyes and I flailed at sea, and the fishing pole that I gripped suddenly towed me forthwith, out into the bay, and all I could do is scream out for my dad. But the boat was already gone, the distant buzz of the engine a lost figment of hope. My eyes became droopy as the cold water whipped me around like tuna salad. My mom loved to make tuna salad...
:To Be Continued: