Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Oops (01/14/10)
TITLE: A Birthday Plan Blunder
By Janice Fitzpatrick
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Stu inhaled exuberantly, "Ah, nothing like crisp morning air to wake you up.”
I didn't have the stomach to argue so I just quietly followed him, along the never ending dock.
Buoy o’ Buoy, Debaiteable, Crewshell Therapy… The originality of names splashed across the fishing vessels seemed as painful as this trip.
Doesn’t he realize motion and I don’t get along? I grumbled to myself.
The herd of hoofless beasts rocked against the old wooden planks, icy water lapping at their taut bodies. We were about to saddle up, and go on an adventure that Stu was sure would be the best birthday gift yet.
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Weeks before the question had arisen, “What do you want to do on your day?” “Visiting a dude ranch might be fun.” I replied.
As a child I enjoyed watching Roy Rogers on television.
Then the thought of joggling around on 'ol Trigger quickly rode off into the sunset, without me.
I offered other suggestions. “A picnic or fishing would be nice." “Catching something for a change would be a novelty.” I teased. We usually caught throw backs.
Stu only heard my last sentence. A smile came over his face. I knew what that meant. A plan was in the making.
I sighed. What have I done?
Time would only tell.
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My husband’s firm hand interrupted my thoughts as he helped me into the charter.
Lord, either teach me to be quiet or please pave the road of our communication. I silently prayed.
In bold print the name laughed in my face, Rock Reation. A soft moan filled my throat. “I know, I’m excited too,” Stu rubbed my shoulder.
Visions of dinghy size salmon had been dancing in his head since he first planned this excursion.
Chelsea, barely six, shared in her daddy’s enthusiasm. Our sons, Daniel and Steven, silently shared glances of unsettledness.
A burly bearded man clad in t-shirt and high rise sweat shorts welcomed us aboard. All of my previous misconceptions of a gentleman pristinely dressed in white and a captain’s hat dissolved into the lake.
As the craft bobbed along merrily, Chelsea hummed, “Row, Row, Row Your Boat.” Gently would be wonderful and I’d take a stream any day. I trembled under a blanket.
My eyes narrowed momentarily as I stared at the one responsible for this ordeal.
Stu’s eyes met mine and he looked dumbfounded. "Are you alright?"
My head hurt too bad to answer.
I fervently tried to fill my mind with pleasurable thoughts of other family outings, that didn’t consist of so much movement.
The spray of lake water refreshed my face but it was too late. A familiar feeling rose within me and I hurriedly bent over the port side just in time.
The wind became more forceful and as the waves began to rise and fall, rise and fall, so did the inside of my stomach. I returned to the rail once again.
On the starboard side Steven joined in harmony. Well, at least it was a family event.
All at once the boat stopped. “Who’s going to fish first? The captain’s question was tossed into the air.
“You wanta?” Stu nudged me. “You are the birthday girl.”
I slowly rose to my feet and made my way to the stern. Before I knew it a fishing harness enveloped my shaking body.
Barely a few minutes later a heavy tug came at the other end of the line. I feverishly reeled in my prize and a moment of thrill swept over me, as a silvery chinook salmon came thrashing aboard.
One by one, cohos, steelhead and more salmon joined the folly as our family took turns with the poles.
Once more my tummy was in union with the tarn and I sank to the floor in exhaustion. “Let’s go home,” Stu’s eyes met mine.
I whimpered, “Best birthday plan yet.”
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