trying your luck

Light filters through the cascading waves of shadows running down the high canyon walls.  Shining fingers reaching down from the heavens to highlight the beauty of the world, you notice the warm spots of rock and water where the light touches and you smile.  The constant hum and crash of the river at your feet adds the symphony accompaniment to the play being acted out for your enjoyment.  Time slows and races with the rise and fall of the orchestra, and your heart follows along.

Stepping to the edge, you set your balance and brace your feet, then let the fly taste the air as you whip it once, twice, three times over your head.  The line pulls against your finger as you release it and for a moment your world is reduced to the flight of the fly and the whine of the reel.  As it splashes down, and you are pleased with its placement, the roar of the river rises back up to a near deafening volume, and you begin to coax the fish out of hiding with a delicate dance of pressure and movement.

A flash of silver deep within the rolling blue and white, as a trout breaks cover beneath the rocky bottom, and there is a small tug on the taught line.  You pull gently on the pole, knowing if you yank too hard or too softly the fish will spit the hook.  The weight on the line increases and you start the proper fight.  A river of sharp rocks, snagging branches, swift currents and deep pools lie between you and your prize.  Your hand is a blur on the reel as you drag in the line, but the fish has realized its dinner was not as it seemed and has dropped to the safety of its home below the rocks.

The battle has reached that critical moment where the next move will determine the outcome.  The eye of the storm, the moment of respite before the next flurry of punches, the next volley of gunfire, and you pause, your hand firmly holding the line in place, and catch your breath.

The light in the canyon shifts again, splashing vibrant color along the river, and your catch makes a run for it.  You pull and wheel, and side step, and move along the treacherous shore, safely bringing the fish through one obstacle after another, until, finally, it is in the river, thrashing and fighting, just below you.  Reaching down, you wet your hand, and pull the fish into the air.  It dangles, and flops, and stares, and mouths obscenities with its fishy grin.  Grasping it firmly, with practiced confidence born of patience and experience, you silence its movement.

Again, the sounds and sights of the river fade away.  There is only you and the fish.  You are two brave combatants, both in search of a meal.

Pulling the hook from its mouth you slip it back into the cold water and watch with a smile as it darts away, another flash of silver back into the hidden depths.  There will be other battles in its future.  And yours.  And there is a beauty in that worth sustaining.  There is no need to end the war.

Yours eyes glance across the river, over the rumbling white water spraying mist into the air, over the light catching in those droplets suspended for moments that stretch into eternity, up the high canyon walls sprouting with giant trees and rocks carved from the earth over centuries of the rivers cutting path.  You sigh, content, peaceful, happy.

And your eyes spot another pool worth trying your luck, your feet move and the line begins to whip over your head again, once, twice, three times…


This is my response to the current Finish The Story prompt.  Have you written an ending yet?  What are you waiting for?!


8 thoughts on “trying your luck

  1. I *love* this, Matticus. I love, love, love every word, every line. I always thought that if I were going to take up fishing of any sort it would be catch and release fly fishing. I was right there, fighting a good fighting and smiling as the critter swam away. Just beautiful. 😀

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