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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Gone Fishing (02/01/07)

By Kathleen Morris


“Get in the truck!” Jack yelled, feeling his temperature boil. Why did he have to go on this lousy fishing trip anyway?

The kids were fighting, his wife was reading her book as usual, and he should be at work right now, not lollygagging all day with his family. He still had to check over all the invoices piled on his desk, and they weren’t going to get done themselves.

“I said STOP IT Josh! Now get in the truck with your brother and I don’t want to hear a peep out of you until we get to the lake. Capeesh?”

“But Daddy, James is bugging me.”

Jack rolled his eyes, lifting his son into his car seat next to his twin brother. They were a handful all right. The moment he and Marsha found out they were having twins, he started having trouble with his blood pressure.

The doctor told him it was the extra 50 pounds he was carrying around with him, but he knew it was because of the boys. It was always because of the boys. He was tired…. because of the boys. He was angry…because of the boys. He was miserable…because of the boys.

And Marsha, as much as he loved her, was not much help at all. She just seemed to retreat into her books whenever they acted up. Her behaviour was so predictable that he didn’t even bother asking her to step in anymore. He knew she’d just say, “Don’t look at me dear, they’re YOUR boys.”

That’s exactly why he spent so much time at the office. It was easier NOT dealing with them, and that included his indifferent wife.

By the time they got to the lake, loaded into the rental boat, and started trolling, Jack was exhausted, wishing he hadn’t put on so much weight. His end of the boat sunk deeply into the water.

“There’s fishys!” Josh giggled as he leaned over, touching the water, calling his twin over to see.

Together the two of them rocked the already unstable boat, teetering the vessel from side to side.

“Stop it, both of you!”

Marsha looked up from her book and glared without saying a word.

Jack frowned. “If you two don’t stop fooling around, I swear I’m going to…”

Then Josh started to cry. “Daddy’s mean!” he sobbed reaching for his mother who just coddled him and shushed him.

Escape, that’s all Jack wanted to do. That, and pretend he didn’t have two spoiled brats.

If only he was single again, free from responsibility, free from the pressures of life, and free from his irritating family. Ah yes, life would be grand.

He thought about that for a moment, resting his back against the motor, basking in the warm rays of the afternoon sun. It was a pleasant daydream, a daydream interrupted by a squeal.

“Daddy Daddy!” one of his sons cried.

Immediately, Marsha dropped her book, thrust herself to the side of the boat and wailed. “Do something Jack!”

Within seconds, Jack reached over the side and grabbed the little boy’s lifejacket, pulling him to safety.

“James, James, James! Don’t ever scare Daddy like that again!”

“How did you fall into the water sweetie?” Marsha asked.

Like a wet little rat, hair dripping and teeth chattering, he smiled at his twin brother. “We were just playing Rolie Polie Olie.”

Jack’s heart almost burst. He could have lost his son. He could have lost them both. He smiled at his family then…at his lovely wife and her silly books, at his twins and their mischievous faces…and loved them, just loved them.

“I will never take my family for granted again Lord!”

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This article has been read 618 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Bonnie Way02/08/07
Great story! You really show Jack's attitude at the beginning well.
Betty Overstreet02/09/07
What a wonderful way you have of letting the reader become a part of the scene. Great dialog, character building and what more can I say? I really enjoyed the story! Betty OVerstreet
Dennis Fletcher02/09/07
Good story, what an eye opener for dad's. Well done.
Jacquelyn Horne02/11/07
Typical day in the (anyones) family. But, when push comes to shove, we always rally to the cause. Well done.
julie wood02/12/07
I really enjoyed this story! Great dialogue and interesting characters--I felt as though I were there. (I could have been the always-reading wife!) Great message, too. The unusual, colorful title also grabbed my attention!
Sheri Gordon02/12/07
Boy, this hits right where it hurts. I especially tuned into the part where Dad listed everything that "was the boys' fault". We (society) finds it much easier to blame someone else than take responsibility for our own actions and attitudes. Great, great lesson -- and written very well.
Patty Wysong02/13/07
You did an excellent job describing Jack's feelings! Good job!!
cindy yarger02/14/07