Gone Fishing

Caleb lounged in his old wooden boat. He closed his eyes and just felt the warm sunlight on his skin. It was the perfect day for fishing on the small lake.

He held the pole loosely, waiting patiently for a fish.

The lake was deep and murky but he had grown up close by. The fish were always active here.

A soft beeping shocked Caleb out of his drowsy state. He looked down at his phone to see a text from his sister.

Hey, we will be at the cabin in a few. Hope you have enough fish to feed an army.

Caleb smiled but was distracted from responding by his rod. A fish was on the line and from the sound of it, it was a big one.

He quickly grabbed the fish and yanked, his old rod bending under the stress. The fight went on for a few minutes. He didn’t notice the sky quickly darkening.  

The wind picked up and rocked his small boat. His heart stopped as he watched the wind blow loose one of the paddles.

Lunging forward, his fingertips brushed the oar as it splashed loudly into the water. He grabbed the other paddle and stretched out to dry and push the wooden paddle back towards the boat; but the wind was blowing in the other direction and his splashing only helped push it further away.  

The waves splashed over the sides of the boat and settled at the bottom. He dumped out a coffee mug and started bailing out the water. His heart pounded with every clap of thunder.

He crabbed the second paddle and attempted to scull the boat towards the shore but the wind was rocking him too violently. Each gust of wind brought him closer to being thrown into the dark water.

Caleb could barely heard the wind howling and the water slapping against his boat over the sound of his own heart. With one large gust the boat was upturned, throwing Caleb into the water.

He fought against the waves hitting him in the face and tried to see where the closest shore was. He couldn’t see much through the water and the lack of sunlight.

The flipped boat crashed into him, sending him back under. He reached up and ended up grasping one of the metal benches. He pulled himself up under the boat, gasping for air. He clutched the slippery seat at tight as possible but the water make it impossible.

He was pulled back under the water and when he resurfaced the boat was quickly being pushed further away. Every wave pushed him towards the shore but also forced him under water. Black was starting to creep into the edges of his vision and he muscles were too tired.

His eyelids drooped and he fought to remain conscious.

Something wrapped around him and pulled him towards the surface. He was dragged onto a float. He coughed and mumbled and he was dragged towards shore.

He could hear shouting and someone was crying but everything was so heavy, he just wanted to sleep.

A repeated pressure on his chest kept him awake. Finally his eyes forced themselves open and he coughed and vomited water.

“Cal! Oh my god!” He recognized his sister’s voice as she hugged him. Her husband was kneeling next to him, soaking wet.

Caleb was escorted inside by the fire and had a blanket wrapped around him. His oldest nephew sat close by, talking softly.

Caleb watched out the window as warmth and energy returned to his body. He could see the water of the lake still splashing wildly and rain pouring down. It was supposed to be the perfect day for fishing.

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