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 A Short Story to kick off this Forum

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Join date : 2012-07-27
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PostSubject: A Short Story to kick off this Forum   Thu Aug 09, 2012 4:37 pm

This story published.

Please note: This article had Publishers note that warned of the prevalence of drugs in today's Society and that Lone Fishermen on deserted beaches cannot afford conflict with someone like in my story. That I die in the Story is obviously an exaggeration, but it points out what the end result could quite easily have been.

DEATH OF A FISHERMAN

95% fact-5% Obvious Poetic License

by Retribution



The sand was clean, white and crunched under foot. Only a slight marring brown line of tidal flotsam some few meters back from the water’s edge spoiled the total perfection of the beach. All of it had been in shadow just moments earlier. Now the sun’s early morning rays had finally crept over the high sand dunes to the rear, flooding all in its bright crisp light.

There was good height too in the sparkling white capped blue/green surf that was running in on four to five ever decreasing wavelets before crashing on to the beach. The size of the surf told of a strong gusty previous evening and belied the current wind, which was only a zephyr now and coming in from the south-west.

The sky was clear and azure blue--promising a fantastic day ahead.

Conditions for beach fishing; absolutely superb!

Other than one other Fisherman on the beach--some one thousand meters away to my right--I would have this whole section of beach to myself.

I had come purposely fully equipped, with two fishing rods, bait, bucket, gaff, tackle-box, rod-holder, sun-lotion, folding stool, Polaroid sunglasses and a small Esky containing coffee and sandwiches. You could say I was there for the long haul. It had been a bit of a long haul getting it all down to the water’s edge, but it would all be worth the effort later in the day.

I chose to bait up first with a tail-less Mulie. ( They cast straighter if you cut the tail off) My end-rig sported a ball sinker right on top of a set of ganged 4/0 Tarpons. My intentions, would be to cast and retrieve for awhile before getting arm weary and then I would change over to a standard bottom rig, so that I could put my rod in a holder, sit on my folding stool, have a cuppa' and sandwich and just wait for a bite. Man, this would really be taking enjoyment to the limit!

My second cast and retrieve was halted with a very heavy double tug just a few seconds after the bait hit the water. I guessed it was a big Tailor and sure enough, a good fish of around 3kg suddenly exploded from the water with it red gills blown right out. Then it began a head shaking tail walk all over the ocean sending up plumes of spray and doing its best to spit the hooks.

As soon as I beached the Tailor, I cut the ligament at the bottom of its gills and snapped its head right back till blood spurted and then stuck it head first into the damp sand beside me to help soak up the blood. Big Tailor stay fresher, firmer longer and taste better if bled this way.

Another cast then resulted in another Tailor about the same size. It looked like it was going to be a really great fishing day. One of those one-in-a-hundred-outings type fishing days.

"You Bewdy!"

I was about to cast in again, when a harsh male voice behind me said, "Hey! Watch where you’re putting your hooks mate!"

Swivelling around, surprised at a voice that had suddenly come from nowhere, I saw a young bloke, about 24-25 years old, quite a tall hefty athletic looking type carrying a surf ski and paddle.

I mumbled, "Sorry Buddy. I didn’t hear you come up behind me?"

The young bloke gave me a bit of a look--as if I was a total moron--then shook his head as he headed for the water. Once in, he headed his surf ski off on an angle away from where I was and I thought, ‘Great, at least he won’t be bothering me?"

A thought too soon!

When he was about 50 meters out from the shore, he turned his surf ski parallel to the beach and paddled right across in front of me!

I gave him a bit of a dirty glare and as soon as he passed, I cast out again. I didn’t get a touch on the retrieve and was about to cast in once more, when this "Idiot", on the surf ski, paddled back--to cross in front of me again!

Feeling the blood rise, I yelled out, "Hey! Come on mate! Fair go! You can see I’m fishing here! You’ve got the whole ocean to paddle about in. Why do it just in front of me?"

The result was a rude two-finger salute and then after paddling some 10 meters, he turned the surf ski around to paddle back across in front of me again?

I was really getting pissed off now!

I yelled out again to him. "If you cop a set of hooks mate, it’ll be you own bloody fault!"

He gave me another rude two-fingered salute and paddled on, obviously determined to keep crossing in front of me every few minutes and spoiling my day?"

‘Jeeez!’ I thought. ‘Why did I have to run into a dick-head today of all days?’ It would have been bad enough on an average fishing day, but today the big Tailor were really on and I had this fool paddling back and forth right where they were. I’d been thoroughly enjoying a really terrific morning’s fishing up till now too.

I’m not normally a vicious-type person preferring to live and let live. "Do unto others etc.", but fiery anger was over-riding these principles. The fact that this bloke was utilising youth, size and strength, against what he obviously knew was the weaker target, me, being a smaller 60 year old man added even more fuel to this fire burning within.

I’m a pretty accurate caster and I considered putting a cast or two across his bow? Perhaps he’d get the message and paddle off?

When he crossed in front of me again, I didn’t bother to bait up before shooting the end-rig in his direction. It had been a good shot too--hooks and sinker splashing just centimetres from the bow of his surf ski.

I copped a really dark threatening stare back from him in return.

He stopped paddling and just sat out there with an unworded challenge for me to try it again!

Perhaps at this point I should have had more sense than to continue the direct confrontation? Just sit on my stool and perhaps he would give up eventually and leave me in peace, but stirrings of my own remembered youth kept coming to mind and just what I would have done then.

Pictures formed, of me, tearing off my clothes, diving into the surf, to finally punch him out and then breaking his damn surf ski up in little pieces!

I would have given what remaining years I had left right then for just ten minutes of my youth! He was really buggering up my great day!

"Damn you!", I swore loudly as I cast the hooks and sinker very hard in his direction!

This time they didn’t land close-by as intended. My end-rig hit him on a shoulder and the force of the cast caused the sinker to bounce up, embedding one of the ganged hooks deep into his neck!

He cried out in surprise, clutching at the hook. Then he managed somehow to dislodge it?

"You stupid old bastard!" He yelled at me then, as he started paddling his surf ski straight into shore and in my direction. "I’m gonna tear your bloody head off and shove it down your scrawny neck!" He threatened.

Right then, common sense was telling me to run, however I knew if I did he would run me down before I could get to the top of the high sand dunes and the car park. The least he would probably do, was to throw all my gear into the ocean and it had taken me years of scrimping to purchase the very best quality gear? I didn’t want to lose any of it now at my age.

I would have to stand my ground and cop the consequences. My heart went into overdrive as adrenaline suddenly surged through my veins.

Then he was there. His face, a reddened picture of absolute terrible rage. Throwing his surf ski down hard on the sand, he rushed right at me!

As a young man I had learned early, that the best defence at these times was to hit hard and first if you could, without any hesitation and make it a telling blow.

When he was within striking distance, I dropped my fishing rod and at the same time threw a right cross at his face as hard as I could muster to connect with his nose.

I felt the old bones in my hand snapping as my fist connected solidly. Then there was blood spurting everywhere from his shocked face and I was nearly passing out with the extremely sharp pains now in my right hand!

In desperation, knowing my injury meant I no longer had any hope of defence, I kicked him then as hard as I could in the testes.

He howled in pain clutching at his lower stomach and dropped to his knees on the sand. Blood, pouring from his nose, was mixing with that of the two Tailors I had dispatched earlier.

I could have easily kicked him again right then, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. "You had enough mate!" I screamed at him. Hoping for all the world he would say, ‘yes.’ If he didn’t, I was surely done for?

He didn’t answer, but did eventually struggle to his feet, pain and paleness now replacing the reddened rage on his face. There were tears of shock and defeat as well.

He then staggered off without a word to pick up his surf ski and paddle.

I watched, while he painfully negotiated the sand dunes on his way back up to the car park on top.

A feeling of deep remorse came over me then and I really wished it had never happened. I felt sorry for the young bloke, but I knew I had no other choice once he decided to attack.

There was also a contradictory feeling of intense excited pride raising its head. That a man of my age had beaten a very fit young man, who was no midget either and that I had stood my ground in the face of what seemed impossible odds and surprisingly, had won the day?

More sharp stabbing pain then and continuous swelling of my right hand dictated that the fishing was all over for today and probably for some time to come. I needed urgent medical attention!

What a damn shame this had to happen on such a great fishing morning, or at all for that matter. I looked at the very appealing fishing surf and shook my head in sorrow that I could no longer use my fishing rod.

It was with very much reluctance that I gathered all my gear together for the painful long haul back up to the car park.

I had to stop two or three times going up the sand dunes, to let blood flow back into my right forearm where the supply was being cut off by the bucket and Esky handles digging deeply into my flesh. I couldn’t hold anything at all in my swollen right hand.

Finally, I reached my car and with a couple of large gasps of relief put the gear down on the tarmac.

I painfully fished in my right hand trouser pocket for my car-keys, using my swollen right hand. It was no mean feat either trying to pull them out?

After quite a few expletives and sucking in of breath, I finally got the car-keys to where I could grab them with my left hand then to open the boot of the car. I had started putting in my fishing gear, when I heard a faint noise behind me. I started to turn, but too late!

It was like someone had kicked me in the back very hard as I felt the long cold blade of a very big sharp knife stingingly slice its way through my right kidney area!

I could only manage a shocked, "Please...Don’t!", before my breath left me. I could then only mouth out my frantic pleas for mercy in wild eyed panic, without any sound coming!

I looked down in amazement and surprised horror as I felt the blade go right on through my body and come out all bloodied through my shirt front!

Then the knife blade kept disappearing, only to then show itself once more in a different place through my shirt front. Again and again!

I hardly felt any pain at all in my kneecaps when they hit the tarmac hard as I collapsed. My forehead, resting hard up against the cars bumper top was all that was holding me up in a grotesque forward kneeling position. I knew I couldn’t move and I didn’t try.

The sound of footsteps running away gave me a little relief as I reasoned my attacker was gone and at least for the moment it was all over?

I tried hard to breath, but just sucked bubbles of blood which made me cough. Funny thing was, I wasn’t scared? I wasn’t even in any great pain, which surprised me? I did muse for a moment over how such a stupid violent act could happen on such a beautiful morning?

Looking down, I could see an ever increasing pool of my life blood creeping under the car. I knew I was in deadly trouble!

Looking at the blood caused a silly thought to cross my mind. I wondered if those Tailor I bled earlier today felt this way?

I couldn’t help a sob then at the sudden terrible realisation, there was very little chance I would ever see my Wife, Children and Grandchildren ever again? And worse, I wouldn’t even be able to say goodbye!

Then I felt the sun’s warmth turn chill as its bright light seemed stupidly to be going out, as ever increasing darkness crept silently in around me........

THE END

(This Story is Copyright. 08/11/01)



Tailor
A pelagic fish that is found reasonably often in the surf. Very popular fish for Beach Anglers in Australia. It fights well, but doesn’t keep well for eating purposes. Not a good fish to freeze. Similar fish in USA waters. I think you call it a "Blue Back"? Also known here as Taylor or Choppers, this in regard to sharp bite.

Mulie
A bait fish of the herring family. I think in USA they would be similar to a fish called "Shad"?

Esky
A plastic or metal box with lid suitable for keeping drinks etc. hot or cold.

Bewdy
Australian slang for the word "Beauty"

Tarpons
A wide gape type of fish hook. Tailor have big mouths.

Regards

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