Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Let me tell you bout the birds and the bees and sad stories under willow trees


I've decided to put up a little gentle short story - a bit at a time - I've always loved this little story. It's just something I wrote one day because I saw a man and child fishing, their backs to me, and I can't remember why this particular story needed to come out in the way it did. There's no place for it, really, so I will share it here. I'll put up a bit at a time, and it should take 4 or 5 days to have the complete story here. If you haven't been by Eazy Cheezy's place, I'm still there! And more guests will be coming 'round, too....

The next book giveaway "contest" is going to be on Thursday!

Here is the first section of "The Fishing Day"--
Their two backs face a weeping willow tree. Long wispy branches reach out to them as the breeze lifts things lighter than the heaviness. The sun is rising, illuminating what only a few hours before was hidden in shadow. The father shows his daughter how he baits the hook with a worm. She watches, her nose crinkles and so do her eyes—she is smiling because her father is smiling, because they have this day. The father’s shoulders are broad shoulders, but he is thin. The thin caused by unnatural loss of appetites. His once robust frame has wasted away over the months, and he cannot notice to care.

Strands of the daughter’s long brown hair, the kind that is never thick and wavy, but straight and delicate, blow like the willow branches, up and over, landing across the father’s arm as he bends toward her. He cannot feel the tickle of her hair as he concentrates intently on his task of baiting the hook. The tiny hook is sharp, and he accidentally pokes his finger with it, and watches as the blood beads quickly at the surface. The wound feels numb now, but he knows it will hurt later, throbbing in the middle of the night while he lies sleepless. The small puncture will spread inside, unseen, until it becomes infected, red and raw. He knows he will worry it at night, rubbing his finger against the bedsheets to stop the itching pain. For now, it does not matter, for the numb allows him to pretend it will not hurt later.

When at last the worm is threaded, the daughter throws out her line and watches as the cork bobs and then stills. She likes how the minnows swim up to investigate, then dash off, little silvers of light. Her father readies his own pole and casts the line, his cork landing farther out and away from his daughter’s line.

There are only nature sounds, the birds calling to each other, splashes from fish chasing the minnows, the occasional branch falling in the distance. Ducks glide toward each other, meeting in the middle to dip their beaks, their sleek reflections wavering on the pond’s glassy surface. A fat bee buzzes by, then turns back, circling the daughter’s head three times. Another bee, just as fat and black and yellow, joins it. With unseen wings, they quickly fly around her before racing off together. The daughter laughs. The father wants to laugh, but finds he can’t help but stare across the pond beyond the other side. His lips haven’t laughed in so long, they are stiff and unnatural feeling. He works them, trying to smile, trying to mold them back into the shape they used to be, when he laughed, smiled, and said I love you....
(to be continued...)
(image from fotosearch at google images)
PS - from Kimmi's place I saw her Wordle, so I had to do one (Angie - it reminds me of your poetry you did - the one for Dancer's Cap!) - I did mine - it's in the sidebar - pretty cool!)

16 comments:

Nannette said...

Wow, I really admire when someone can pack so much into something so short. You haven't submitted this as flash anywhere?

Lisa said...

thanks Kat- i love a good story x

Angie Ledbetter said...

Lovely vignette with morning coffee, my friend. Agree with Nan, this should be submitted somewhere.

PS The weeping willow is my favorite tree.

Barry said...

What a talent for description you have, Katherine! I can't wait for the next part.

It brings back poignant reminder of that long ago time teaching my own daughters to fish, including stabbing my finger with the hook.

Although I gather I was much healthier and in a much better mood than the father in this tale.

jinksy said...

I can see me needing a box of tissues before this is finished, sniff, sniff...

Janna Qualman said...

Very good and, of course as well-told a story should, it makes me want more.

Kathryn Magendie said...

Thank y'all (smiling)....

The Unbreakable Child said...

What a lovely story, Kat, a poetic visual. Look forward to more.

Michelle said...

Oh god, another one to have to wait for.

I'm hooked...

Waterfall said...

Very nice writing! Thanks for stopping by my blog yesterday.

Kathryn Magendie said...

THank y'all for the nice comments (smiling) and hello Waterfall-glad you stopped by!

Marcy said...

You have such a beautiful writing style.

blueviolet said...

I'm so glad you shared that on your blog today and I look forward to more of these treats.

Anita said...

You are sooo talented!

Hey, how do you pronounce your last name? I'm always pronouncing names in my head and I don't know if I have yours correct.

Sandra Leigh said...

When I'm reading a book that I love, and I have to stop for food or drink or some other silly necessity, I love to stop just as something important is about to be revealed, so I can enjoy the suspense. Nice cliffhanger, Kat - and beautiful prose. Thank you.

Ami said...

I always admire a well-written short story and yours aren't any exception. Thanks for sharing yourself with us through your writing.

I've given you an award at my blog for being so awesome! I love your attitude AND your gratitude. So glad we've discovered each other!