Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Fishing in time

In response to Trifecta Writing Challenge

Day was breaking; Jimmy was getting his gear together in the boat. Earl, the king of dogs waited patiently to board. He had at one time bounded from the shore into the boat. Now he needed a little help getting in, gingerly settling himself on his bed.

The old wooden boat was like the one he rode in as a boy. His grandfather would put trotlines out. The largest fish, he would take home for the family to eat. His grandmother would take planks of fish and bread it in cornmeal before placing it in lard to fry.

His grandfather would sell the fish and wait in town for people who wanted to hire day labor. Jimmy remembered his grandfather's leathered hands,

Jimmy's life had dwindled to living at his office and the hospital. He the healer watched a wife succumb to cancer. His one daughter was married and busy with a young family.

A man and his teenaged grandson came one night to the emergency room. Jimmy thought the thin, wiry man was the patient but his calloused hands lifted the boy's shirt to reveal a boil and rash on his back from a tick bite. Numbing and draining the boil, he told the grandfather to make a follow-up appointment at his office. The grandfather hemmed and hawed. Giving him the antibiotic from the hospital stores, he softly said, "Come by the office and tell my receptionist who you are, she'll give you the rest of the antibiotics."

The grandson went into the military. The grandfather died of a massive heart attack. Jimmy wondered when the sting of death would never stun him. He watched the young on-call physician try to save him.

Such is life; he saw the rusty boat for sale on the side of the road that night. He and his grandson went out as often as the boys schedule would allow. Who would think a high school student would have a more hectic schedule than a doctor would.


  1. Ann - I sense more to this story. :)

    could you do a hyperlink back to trifecta?

    thanks for joining us this week.

  2. What a wonderful character you've created. A sad, but nicely written retrospective of his life. I like Earl, king of dogs, and the part about Jimmy giving the old man the antibiotics because he couldn't afford them. Stories like that break my heart. Nice story, Ann.

  3. I know my 17 year old schedule is a lot more hectic than anyone else I know! Very good story.

  4. i like how the doctor gave the medications even though the man couldn't afford them. I can believe that a teen's schedule could rival that of a doctor :)

  5. I love the flavor of this story Ann! I could almost taste that fish, and I wouldn't mind a lazy boat ride myself! Great writing!

  6. Love the circle from Jimmy's grandfather to his grandson, and the dog as metaphor! Such a clear slice of a decent man's life. Nice.


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