I'm a little nervous about posting even this small story, but, as that's no way to live, here it goes!
Comments and critiques are welcome, criticism doesn't bother me. I just hope that those who do read it enjoy it!
The fishing line sunk into the rippling dark pond, barely glistening against the pale moonlight. A man sat with heavy, tired eyes, watching as the water calmed, listening to the call of nature—the shout of crickets against the, otherwise, silent night.
The man sat with a slouch in his shoulders, a literal heaviness taking toll on his back. Wrinkles had erased his youthfulness away; the frown on his face measured his age and wisdom about the hardships he took on in his life. This was a man with nothing more to live for, nothing but the rise of the morning sun, another cup of coffee, and another lousy hard day’s work. The routine was becoming a nightmare, so much that not even the joy of fishing could replenish. He sat huddled, cradling his own body, not at all the stature of a man should be—not the posture of the man he wanted to be.
His thirst for something new was left unquenched by what he was supposed to do, what society wanted him to do. This burden kept him awake for days on end; sleep brought nothing to him. His dreams were filled with the day’s chores, left uncolored by the dread of what the morrow would bring. Nothing was beautiful, not even his wife. Perhaps that was the hardest realization, that his marriage had been doomed for many years, and he wasn’t the man for her anymore.
He heaved out a sigh as his gaze shifted down to the empty pail beside him. He had sat there for hours with nothing tugging on his hook, yet he still kept recasting his line. Determination wasn’t the reason; his persistence was as low as his self-esteem. It was with hope that he stayed; a small piece of him felt that if he could catch just one fish, maybe his sorrow would start to disappear. His life would have purpose, as silly as the thought was. For something he was never truly good at, that satisfaction, that if he caught just one, would make his frown start to turn into a bit of a smile. He could go home to his wife, make her feel like she did during their honeymoon, and things would start to turn around. But the longer he sat, the less he felt that wish would become a reality, for ever since he arrived at the hole, the waters remained still. The only creatures he could hear were the ones behind him, not the fish he wished to see.
He uncurled his body and reached for his pole, slowly reeling it in to try and bait any unsuspecting fish, his hope rising slowly. Maybe he’ll get lucky? He was getting excited at the thought. Things would change, certainly. He would look at every day with a new outlook on life, take his wife out to dinner, laugh at the small things…
At the final click, his excitement instantly fell to its lowest point once more. The hook was empty—even the worm was taken away. There were fish in the pond, but he was the unsuspecting victim here. All his time spent praying on hope that his sorrows would vanish, and he was let down again. His frown had deepened, and his eyes closed. Slowly he stood, shamefully wiping away the pieces of grass that clung to his pants. He grasped his pole and pail and stared against the shimmering water before turning his back to it. He had only walked a few steps before he heard a splash. His head turned instantly, and another fish jumped out of the water and fell back in.
Tomorrow, he thought. Tomorrow is another day.