Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Gone Fishing (02/01/07)
TITLE: Fishing on Sunday
By Sue Dent
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A more perfect day couldn’t have been asked for. The only ripple in the water comes after the cast. A perfect cast too since there is no wind to direct it one-way or the other. The sun smiles down graciously through thick hanging moss. Not right for mosquitoes yet cool enough to be comfortable with a hunting jacket.
Mack turns to his fishing buddy, keeps his voice low so as not to spoil the perfect peace. Voices aren't welcome here unless they are low and respectful to nature. This is just sort of an unspoken rule.
“So what’d you tell her? What’d you tell your wife?”
Smoothly turning the reel, casually leaning back in his seat, Chuck says, “Well, I told her I was gone fishing.”
There wasn’t a physical smile, mind you. Mack’s words relay the emotion just fine.
His next cast isn’t quite as perfect after that comment. “Okay, I didn’t tell her I was gone fishing.”
Mack takes a long sip of his drink. “So what did you tell her?”
All at once Chuck stands. It looks like he has a bite. But then he settles back in his seat after a moment of speculating. He appears to be ignoring Mack’s question. And then, “What difference does it make what I told her. I’m here ain’t I?”
Mack reels in his line and recast. “Sure, you’re here. I’d just hate your perfect day to be ruined by lying.”
An egret makes a perfect dive just ahead of them then sails off. “What’s that supposed to mean? Not telling somebody where it is you’re going ain’t exactly lying.”
Mack nods slowly. “Right.”
Despite this response, Chuck continues to defend himself. “She’s at church anyway and she’s going to her mother’s after that. How’s she gonna know I skipped out this morning and came here instead? I’m not gonna tell her. And I’m pretty sure you’d never tell her.”
Mack confirms this with another nod. “You can count on me to keep my mouth shut.”
“So what in the world is there to worry about? Judging from this weather, I’d say I even have God on my side.”
No sooner does he say this, Chuck gets a bite. The biggest bite he’s ever experienced. The rod nearly flies out of his hand. He’s never fought so hard in his life and he’s never been more excited.
Elated at the sight of the huge fish, he turns to Mack. “What do you have to say now? Wait till I tell the others!”
It was at this point Mack starts to laugh. Lightly at first and then with all he has in him.
Elation slowly turns to confusion. And Chuck has to ask. “What’s so funny?”
Mack sputters, chokes then finally gets the words out. “You don’t get it, do you?”
“Get what? I just caught the biggest fish I ever caught!”
“Right!” Chuck howls, ignores the rule of reverent silence.
“I mean it’s got to be a record!”
“Exactly,” Mack says.
“So why are you laughing? This sort of thing doesn’t happen everyday. And I’ve got proof.” He points to the fish. “It didn’t get away. It’s right here in the boat.”
“Yes, it’s right here,” Mack squeezed out. “Right here in the boat. It didn’t get away and it’s the biggest fish anyone around here has ever caught. And you’d probably be the talk of the town except for one small thing.”
Had he missed something?
“What small thing?”
Mack shook his head back and forth. “You can’t tell anybody or else your wife will know where you were.”
The laughter starts up again.
“God got you good.”
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