“The bait is one thing that will help get a bite,” my father murmured. “However, it is the lure that attracts them. That is fishing in a nutshell. Bait helps, but a great lure is a must.”
“Yeah, I understand that,” I replied. “But you know what would be a great, if we could use those special sound effects that attract fish.”
“You know, there are certain sounds which appeal to fish.”
“Yes, that lack of sound. No shut up and fish.”
I fell silent and scowled at my father before we both smiled and began fishing. Whipping the rod forward, the line spun from the reel as the sinker carried the hook and it’s colourful decoration far.
It didn’t take long for another amusing thought to pop in my mind.
“You know goldfish?” I asked.
“I’m familiar,” my father replied.
“Well, consider this. Goldfish used to grow to large sizes and was a wild fish. Initially it became domesticated like we domesticated wild dogs to become the dogs we know today.”
“Sounds about right…”
“Well, is it then possible to domesticate a shark?”
“You know, a great white. Can we train them well enough or at least, domesticate them to the point where they will be as small as goldfish.”
“What is the point of that?”
“Well, to show the power of man, to establish us as the apex predator of the ocean.”
“I don’t think we’re much of an apex predator if we have to shrink the competition to the size of a goldfish to exert power.”
“All is fair in love and war. Perhaps if a goldfish wasn’t domesticated it would evolve to be the apex predator.”
“I’m tired of this conversation.”
Falling silent once again, we continued fishing. The conversation ended abruptly, but it was amusing enough to me and to him. Of course, the soon wouldn’t matter. I continued fishing in silence, now focused on catching at least one fish before the day ended.
I wasn’t the greatest fisherman in the world, but hey, that wouldn’t stop me from me from trying. Afterall, we endured a long trip up the country to end up staying in tents. Now we were here to read, discuss work and of course, fish. These being the last moments I had with my father before I moved upstate, I wanted to make them enjoyable.
My dad felt a tug at the fishing rod and immediately began reeling a fish in.
“Here we go,” he murmured, giving the fish slack in some instances and reeling in other.
Being a more experienced fisherman than me, he succeeded in retrieving his catch and threw it into the cooler box, it being big enough to keep. With a small sense of pride, my father attached a new piece of bait to the hook, similar to that of a soldier loading his gun. With the same focused intent, my dad resumed fishing while I sat, staring at the red and white bobber.
My interest was fading in that sight, so it wasn’t surprising that my searching eyes soon discovered the touch of movement beneath the water. My eyes glazed over the water lazily, wondering if the fish beneath would take an interest in the bait I had prepared for them. However, it seemed that they were less than interested.
“How is it going, son?” my father asked after half-an-hour, placing a second fish into the cooler box.
“Nothing yet,” I replied. “I think I am going to relax a bit until there is a bite.”
“Excellent, that’s a great way to pass time.”
Leaning back in the boat, trying to find comfort amongst the hard edges, I eventually used my jacket as padding. It didn’t take long for my only view to be my father’s back and the grey sky above. The clouds were thin, allowing a white light to descend on this cold lake and misty forest.
However, I found the air warm around the boat. Perhaps it was just me, but I felt myself slipping into sleep not long after. There was no tug at the fishing rod to keep me awake, so I wasn’t missing anything, but it wasn’t a pleasant nap.
One of the few times that I finally have a dream and it soon turned into a nightmare. My dream began with a darkened maze, filled with narrow corridors and changing walls. If that doesn’t spell nightmare to you, perhaps the feeling of being pursued would. I ran through into this darkness, where everything a few feet ahead of me was pitch black.
The thought of bumping into whatever was chasing me always lingered in the air. It would be sudden enough and at these speeds I would crash head-on into death. Of course, I lived, stuck in this perpetual state of torture until I was woken up or I escaped the maze.
Unfortunately, it was the latter and my escape was more a descent as the black ground, that appeared almost like glass, turned out to be just that. It slid open beneath me fast enough that I noticed as I stumbled. Hitting the wall, I slid down and fell into the void.
It took a moment for feeling to identify the cold as water. Trapped in this hell, I swam up to catch my breath, searching for an opening. I stared up at the maze, but there was no opening in sight that would allow me back in. It was in the panic that I heard something else fall into the water.
I couldn’t make it out in the darkness, but the narrator of this nightmare told me that it swam a lot better than me. Like most humans, situations like this involved fight or flight instincts. I fled a few meters before I felt something close around my leg and wrench me upwards.
I awoke, flailing in the cold water as my father pulled me out by my leg. Once I was back in the boat I was wrapped in towels and a blanket. My calm didn’t set in as I soon felt a wriggling in my shirt. Standing up in the boat and wriggling myself, a fish fell out of the folds.
My dad laughed, as it was the biggest fish he had seen in person. To this day, I remark on how I am a better fisherman than my father, even in my sleep.
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