THE WAIT – TAKE 2

[This is a rework of a story I wrote August, 2013. Hopefully, it will be published soon in the Fredericksburg Literary Review.]

How long would he have to watch? Boredom crept into his young soul and as a breeze began to blow, giving some relief to the scorching sun, his thoughts began to wander, his head began to nod.

A rude awakening greeted him as something slimy slid up and down on his face. Drool and the rough skin against his cheek immediately brought him back to the reality from which he had tried to escape. The first thing he noticed was his hands were empty, yet nothing had changed. Still there, red and white, laughing at him, telling him that although this seemed to be really boring, this was not going to change.

Upset with himself for losing concentration, he fixed his gaze anew, determined to be ready when the time came, if it ever would. This is how he spent most of the afternoon, determined to keep his watch, yet finding himself distracted. Fighting the ever present desire for his mind to wander, brought about by the tedium of waiting versus the conviction that he needed to keep his attention sharp, he sat.

As always, the moment came when it was least expected and long after it was given over to the idea that it never would arrive. Though his eyes at the time were open, his heart was asleep, given over to the many fantasies that tended to settle in his mind, except for a small opening where reality kept a stronghold.

Watching carefully, lest he miss it, he was surprised not at the sight, but at the feeling. He noticed the initial movement of what he had so long fixed his eyes upon and then it went under only to pop up again and then went under a second time hard and fast. Energy seemed to go into his arms.

He could feel the movement as it went back and forth in a frantic effort to go deeper and farther away. To no avail, he sensed its quest for survival as it was pulled upward. He worked as he had been taught as it valiantly fought a losing battle, reaching the edge with a mighty last ditch surge in order to break free. Up, up into the air with a display that brought forth from him a sound of awe as he observed with almost unbelieving eyes.

As the dog barked, he shrieked with delight for all to hear and exclaimed,”Dad! Look! I caught a fish!”

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