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|Suckers (standard:other, 1316 words)|
|Author: K.J.||Added: Feb 08 2001||Views/Reads: 4413/1997||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|fishing with dad|
Click here to read the first 75 lines of the story would drop me off at the plant where Dad worked. I'd climb inside Dad's old, red Impala and wait for him. The key would be in the ashtray for me so I could listen to the radio while I waited. Sometimes, when I could pick Dad out from the other yellow hard-hats and safety glasses early enough, I'd start the car for him. Fridays were paydays and after cashing his check at the credit union we were off to Lud's Restaurants' drive-thru. Cups of seasoned fries, vanilla milkshakes, and fishburgers with cheese. The ride wasn't long, but by the time we came to the end of the grassy two-track that led to the stream, our supper was finished. If there was anyone else at the beach, they were on the other side, beyond the dunes where the water was deeper and people could swim and dive. Usually it was a family, a plant worker and his kids taking in the beginning of a Northern Michigan weekend. Beer coolers, Frisbees, water wings, and mesh lawn chairs. Everyone with more than enough sand and water for themselves. We'd see a car or truck pulled lopsided onto the sloping shoulder of the road and Dad would know the man and his family by car color, make, and model. To the trunk for fishing poles, tackles boxes, dip nets and worms. Dad and I fishing the bridge - when there was a bridge. One made out of four by fours and heavy wooden planks, with railings just tall enough for me to see over and for Dad to lean on. Crappies, baby pike, suckers and bass. Most of them lying in the reeds, along the stream's bank where there was no path for people to get near them. The smaller ones though, sunfish and perch, hovered just below us, nipping the surface, swimming up and down, darting away sometimes, but not very far. The days seemed brighter then. Time more precious and real. Life and its everydayness was open and true. There were no foreign objects hidden in the sand or the stream. The water was clear and unimpeded. The current didn't have to fight as much to reach Lake Huron. Dad and I could sit on the bridge with our pantlegs rolled up and our feet white, naked and big under the water's surface. "Feel that?" Dad had asked. "What is it?" "The fish are trying to eat our toes!" I felt that surge of good excitement from something strange and new. We laughed at each other, at the fish, then sat looking at the sun shine on the place where the stream and lake came together. They were clear days. The water was so blue. When I heard Dad splashing around I looked away from the beach, from the changes and memories, over to him. He was howling my name. "Adam! Holy shit! Adam!" Dad was laughing, dripping with water, trying to keep hold of a silver-gray sucker. It was rubbery and wet, trying to break free. "I don't believe it!" I shouted. "Well, believe it, son! Here it is!" He tossed the sucker onto the shore and went looking for more. I remembered, finally, my spoon sitting on the black bottom and began to reel. I felt a thump against the lure, in the line, and jerked hard. "Got one!" I shouted over my shoulder. The weight was heavy and dull. My reel whined so I set the drag tighter. "It's probably a log!" Dad yelled. Then I saw it break the surface - an old dark, sucker - half dead and its lips mouthing something invisible. "What is it?" Dad yelled. I could hear the sucker he had caught flopping around on the shore, thrashing in the grass, gasping for air. "You're right!" I shouted back, "It's just a log!" I pulled the sucker out of the water. The hooks were lodged into its belly. I knelt down and held the fish and it was cold. Its eyes were cloudy, its body was limp. I bit off the line as close to the lure as I could, then put the fish back into the water. It floated onto its side, and as the current pulled it away I could see the silver of my lure flickering like a light underwater. I heard a seagull squawking, then saw it swoop down from overhead. When it landed near the fish, I turned toward Dad. He was pulling another sucker out of the water and laughing. I walked over to the truck and put away my fishing pole. I sat down on the tailgate, took off my shoes, and started to roll up my pantlegs. Everything was new. Tweet
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