Fisherman – a good prompt for #30DaysWild, too. I used to live by a river with loads of linked reservoirs around as part of the flood defences; it was a fisher’s paradise. Several of my friends fished, and my immediate neighbour used to go down to the end of his garden of a summer’s evening and catch a couple of trout for supper!
This is my #writephoto piece for the week, courtesy of KL Caley of New2Writing. Please go and visit other people’s pieces by visiting that link. KL took over from Sue Vincent, and nobody who followed her blog will fail to recognise the subject of my 500-word piece today. I’m glad to say Mo is still in remission.
Once a Fisherman…
Mo slumped into the low fishing seat and closed his eyes.
“You okay, mate?” Arthur looked over at him, breezy chat in his voice, but concern in his eyes.
“Yeah,” Mo wheezed. “Just need a minute.”
Arthur nodded, twitching his line to make the lure dance a little, and returned to concentrate on the dark green water. It looked flat and boring—but it ran fast underneath, just here, and the trout loved it. The willow drew the mayflies, too. Every so often there was a ‘plop!’ and a ripple, where a big brown fish had stuck its lips out and sucked a too-daring mayfly into its maw. All in less than a second.
Mo had been counting those seconds for a while. Any time Arthur had visited him in hospital, or phoned from a fishing trip to Spain, they’d worked out how many seconds were left till Mo could get back to his rods.
It seemed to have kept Mo going, convinced he would get back to his beloved riverbank. For Arthur, there’d been times when he thought it was a pipedream. Maybe Mo didn’t want to admit it, in case it showed weakness.
“Fight it. Fight it all the way, that’s what they say.”
It was a battle that many hadn’t won. The day that Mo discovered he was the only one of his chemo ‘class’ who had made it to remission, he’d almost broken down. Arthur remembered just sitting with him, and making some trite comment. What could you say, anyway?
And now, the first day of the new season. Every fisherman (and one woman) had been out at dawn, as usual, except Mo. So many people had asked after him. “Still going, the old beggar?” in that light-hearted way that showed they meant it.
“Yep, and I’m bringing him down this evening, when it’s quieter.” So many good wishes, relaxing faces in the relief of good news. Arthur hadn’t exactly told Mo everyone had asked after him. It would be embarrassing. Any time Mo mentioned someone, though, Arthur would update him and say he sent his best.
“Looking forward to a pint with you.” A good stock answer.
“Hoping I’ll pay.” The standard reply.
Mo breathed deeply and cleared his throat. He reached down beside him to his rod. Arthur had laid it out carefully, balanced on its rest so Mo could reach it when he liked.
“Think I might as well put a number 3 out and see what happens.” Mo reached into the tackle box on his other side, fitted the bait to the line, and swung it out, avoiding the willow branches with the ease of long years, even if the muscles protested at the motion.
Such a small exertion, it left him panting. But he could relax, and watch the float, and see whether those old brownies he’d seen here so many times might come for a nibble.
He was back. He wasn’t going anywhere. Not yet, at any rate.
© J M Pett 2021