Chapter seven---The Fishing Spot
7:20 PM | Author: Jeff
A week passed, Jay hadn’t seen his mother since they had arrived, he had heard her arguing with Pops, but the words where all muffled, he hadn’t been able to figure out much of what was said, but he could tell it wasn’t working. One morning Jay crept downstairs, not wanting to be seen, as he had done his whole life, habits are easy to form, but hard to break, he saw his gradfather standing over the kitchen sink staring out of the window, he wore the same expression he had when he had first seen his daughter, a mixture of disappointment, fear and relief. Clutched in his hand was a crumpled piece of paper, he stood there like a statue, the muscles in his arms taunt, like hundreds of ropes pulling against a great weight. Jay watched him for a few moments before clumsily making his presence known.
“G...good morning” Jay mumbled.
“Speak up Jay, a man should never mumble” Pops turned and looked at his grandson, placing the paper in his pocket, threw on a grin and gave Jay a wink, “and men need a good breakfast, to get through a long day” he gestured for Jay to sit at the kitchen table, which he promptly did. He placed a large bowl and a spoon in front of Jay and set one out for himself, then brought over the corn flake cereal, which would soon become Jay’s favorite food in the world and a pint of fresh milk.
Hesitantly Jay poured his cereal, only barely filling a quarter of the bowl; Hank had always gotten angry when he ate too much. Pops looked at Jay, placed his hand on his shoulder and smiled,
“It’s OK my boy, eat as much as you want.” The kindness in his voice was so thick; it blanketed Jay in a way he had never known. Jay filled his bowl twice that morning and so did Pops, the newly united family sat there eating their fill of those golden flakes while the morning sunlight poured through the kitchen window warming their faces. After they had finished eating, Pops leaned back in his chair, patting his stomach with both hands.
“Jay, my boy, have you ever been fishing?” he asked
“No” Jay replied
“Well, it’s a mighty fine day today, and it’d be a shame to waste it sitting around here, so how about it, want to try?” His voice was full of excitement.
“Yes, but I don’t know how” Jay said mumbling again, feelings of insecurity filled him, the fact was he didn’t even know what fishing was, Pops overlooked Jays mumbling this time.
“Well, of coarse you don’t, but then again, no body know how to do something they’ve never done, don’t worry, I’ll show you.” He said with another wink, Jay liked it when pops winked.
“OK” Jay replied, feeling the excitement build inside, truth was he had never really done anything.
“Alright then” said Pops, “You wash these dishes and brush your teeth, and I’ll get all the rods and tackle sorted out.” Pops stood up
“We’ll leave in 20 minutes so best get a move on” he smiled at Jay once again and then headed to the shed in the garden were the fishing gear was stowed.
“Where am I, I must be dreaming” Jay thought to himself as he washed the bowls and spoons and watched Pops through the window. Then he thought, ‘where’s mom?’ a thought which past when he heard Pops start to sing while he toiled with the tackle box.
“Don’t know where, don’t know when, but I know well meet again some sunny day…”
An old Vera Lynn tune.

Jay went up stairs, to brush his teeth, no longer creeping, he was too excited, to be invisible now.
The fishing spot as Pops called it was a secret place, a place which Henry’s father had shown him, he swore Jay to secrecy, “we can never take anyone else here or they’d catch all the fish” Pops said, then he laughed, one thing people loved about Henry Sutherland was that he was always able to laugh. Henry put the truck into park and turned off the engine. The fishing spot was a small grove in the river. The river was a torrent, white water raging it’s war on the rocks, the white foaming spray launching high into the air, when Jay first saw it, He found that he couldn’t look away, the way the water exploded all over the rocks, reminded him of Hanks violence, he was scared at first, but Jay imagined himself being one of those rocks, forever changed by the rage of the water, but stead fast, and he decided that from that day he would be like those rocks, patient and strong.
The water in the grove was so calm, almost like a small lake, it seemed separate from the mighty serge of the river that roared next to it. Jay liked this spot, Pops was right to keep it a secret.
“OK, here you go” said Pops as he handed Jay a cork handled fishing pole.” Let’s get you rigged up and in the water.” He smiled in a way that made Jay feel warm.
Jay proved to be an exceptional student, he watched intently as Pops tied off the lure using a knot made up of several strange twists and weave's which Jay was sure he’d never remember, but knew he’d never be happy until he did. Pops then cast Jays line out, showing him how, and Pops cast his own, They sat on the bank of the grove, slowly reeling in their lures and then casting them out again, fishing was so relaxing Jay thought, loving every minute of it so far, but he could feel a pain coming from Pops, a pain he felt too, though not as strongly.
“She has gone, hasn’t she?” Jay asked looking over at Pops who kept his eyes on the water, “Mum I mean”
“Yes, she’s gone” He replied, his voice straining to hold back emotion. He cast his line out again with expert precision, and then turned to look at Jay, “But, she’s asked me to look after you.”
“Is that what the note said?” Jay asked
“You saw that?" Henry paused and looked out over the still grove and beyond to the raging whitewater, which seemed to embody the emotions that surged through him. "Yes, she said she felt you’d be better off with me, she said, she can’t be a mother to you. She asked me to teach you how to be a man.” Pops fell into thought for a moment, the strain showing in his eyes, he had failed his daughter again. “Do you want to live with me?” his eyes were filling with tears. Jay nodded my acceptance.

Years later Jay found the note, it made no mention of him, it simply said, “Fuck you, I don’t need your sympathy”.
They sat on the bank in silence for a while, both letting the reality of their new and unexplored relationship sink in. Jay sat there, thinking about what his mother leaving meant, It meant no more beatings, no more sneaking, no more drunken fights, but in truth he had lived with those things his whole life, they were all he knew, living with Henry Sutherland was new and unknown and for a nine year old boy, that in itself was frightening. They sat there both lost within their own thoughts, Henry Sutherland finally breaking the silence.
“Not a fish to be caught it seems.” He cast his line out again. “I think they, can feel our thoughts, they can feel the pressure of us being here.” He said nodding his head as if agreeing with himself. Jay looked at him, completely lost, not having a clue what he was talking about.
“Yep, that’s it I think” he looked at Jay still nodding, “The fish can feel us, and no fish is going to take the lure, when they sense danger about.”
“What can we do?” Jay said, still completely confused, how can fish feel us? He thought.
“I think what we have to do is clear our brains, empty all of these heavy and sad thoughts, just as if we were taking out the trash.” He cast out again. “Yep, if we do that, make ourselves as light as the air, then them fish, will never know we’re here, what do you say, do you think you can do it?” he looked at Jay his left eyebrow cocked, a barely visible grin forming on this lips.
“How do I empty my thoughts?” Jay asked, while clumsily trying to cast his lure out again and not going more than six feet from the bank.
“Well, it’s a bit tricky, but the more you do it the easier it becomes, and when you get real good at it you’ll be able to disappear completely when ever you want, then no body will be able to touch you.” His grin turned to a fun smile. “You’ll also be able to catch a whole lot of fish.” he punctuated this with a wink; Jay giggled as a child should, though it was the first time he had ever done it. “Are you ready?” he asked, Jay nodded, smiling widely; Henry knew he had passed a milestone with the boy, he had earned some trust.
“OK, first, you have to close your eyes real tight.” Jay did this, “Now you have to picture the silliest thing you can in your mind, can you do that?” Jay nodded, “Ok now real quietly inside your head, laugh at the silly thing you imagined.” Jay started smiling, it was impossible to stop, he felt so good. “Now, Jay slowly opens your eyes.”
It’s hard to describe how he felt at that moment, for the first time in as far Jay could remember, he felt happy, just plain happy.“Now let’s catch some fish.” Said pops casting his line out further than he had previously, almost out of the grove, Jay tried to mimic him but, only managed to get about eight feet this time.
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5 comments:

On November 19, 2007 at 8:19 AM , Elise said...

Poor Jay!

I feel so bad for him. His mother really didn't give a shit at all!

At least he had Pops.

I'm getting quite sucked in to the story. I can't wait to see how it develops x

 
On November 19, 2007 at 12:27 PM , KAK said...

Elise is right, you do feel bad for Jay. I like how your conversations are so easy and natural, as if we were watching it for real.

Keep up the good work!

KAK
http://theserialnovelist.blogspot.com

 
On November 20, 2007 at 4:13 AM , Tish said...

Hi, Adam! Your 10 Questions have been posted on BlogsWeLuv. Hopefully we can bring a little traffic your way! Feel free to grab a button from our links page if you're interested. :)

 
On November 24, 2007 at 3:49 PM , Keriam said...

Missing you! Can't wait to read your next chapter.

 
On November 24, 2007 at 5:17 PM , Adam said...

Hi all thank you again for the great comments and support!
Work has got me all over the country at the moment, so it has really been eating into my online time. 3 more weeks of this then I am taking 3 months off, to really sink my teeth into the book and enjoy some of that Australian summer. had crazy snow this week in northern Japan...brrrrrr
I am also really looking forward to having plenty of time to kick back and read through all the new and wonderful posts you have all added between now and then!
Chapter 8 will be up in the next few days, I hope you are enjoying the read so far.

 

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