Steve had tried, he really had. But even he had to concede that he’d be spending his time better outside than in.
Because the summer holidays, the most anticipated event in a twelve year-old’s annum, were in a league of mind-numbingness comparable to that of hospital waiting rooms. Or fishing.
Yet, counter-intuitively, the latter was precisely what he proposed to do. Having taken his father’s advice to take a shot at the time-honoured sport, he had gathered up the necessary implements, and would catch a fish under his father’s supervision. That was, at least, the plan.
Steve’s house was currently a quick five-minute walk to the nearby Lake Acuity, though during the snowy half of the year, it could take up to fifteen. It was just a shame you couldn’t go skiing in the summer break.
But he was willing to give it a shot, if only because it would take the rest of the evening to arrive there, set up the deckchairs and whatnot, stay awake with an Old Rod in hand for half an hour, pack the commodities away, and return home.
The August air was brisk and fresh: contrary to popular belief, staying in cold climes all your life does not make them seem warm. But at around 10 degrees Celsius, the warmest time of the year, Steve was satisfied with the walk: it really felt like he was achieving something, if only he could think what.
Throughout the journey, Steve’s father stayed silent, which suited Steve perfectly well: his father wasn’t a big talker, and, though that couldn’t be used to describe Steve himself, he certainly found any conversation alone with his father awkward, in a sense. It felt tense; as if his father would at any moment say something embarrassing, about girlfriends, or showering habits.
So it was a nice, calm, peaceful, serene, serendipitous walk. These words, Steve found, just popped up in his head: language has a quirky habit of making words sound right. There was no way to describe this sort of thing: it just worked out that way.
When Steve reached Lake Acuity, he wasn’t necessarily looking forward to fishing: merely that he was in a sufficiently acceptant frame of mind to do it. And he set out the deckchairs; and his father gave him some pointers on spearing the Wurmple larva; and the two sat down, and both started fishing.
Steve waited, excited at first; then, gradually, bored. But slowly he realised one of the main purposes of fishing: to slow down the pace of the day, of life.
Steve’s last few weeks had been certainly uneventful, but he slowly realised that he had worried himself over trying to spend them productively. This, there was no doubt, was no more productive than the other days, but at least he realised that. He wasn’t going to achieve anything, no matter how hard he tried - so he may as well stop trying.
Steve, realising that he had realised this, fought against the notion of becoming old and wise before his time: because this was the sort of thing that only… who? Who accepts this? Accepting these things blindly was almost as bad as not accepting them.
Steve glanced at his father, then blushed, then regretted both, then wondered why he had regretted them. His father, after all, was not pry to his thoughts. If Steve was becoming wise, then, heck, who needed to know?
This fishing, Steve decided, was doing weird things to his mind.
So Steve stopped looking introspectively (another of those ‘right’ sounding words), and looked around him.
At first, he couldn’t really hear anything - then he realised that that was simply because he already heard it. Not that there was much to hear: a breeze that not only felt cold but sounded it, a couple of Kricketot chirping, a few splashes further out in the lake.
And scents - again, he had smelt them all along. The sharp tang of cold air, the fresh scent of evergreen trees, and that indescribable ‘lakey’ smell. It was they that apparently smelt of nothing.
The sunset had never much appealed to Steve, if only because it got colder and darker at that point; without a doubt, it was a turn for the worse after the stunning, blinding, HD visuals of life dimmed down. But it was a nice vista while it lasted. Steve made a mental note to come painting at the lake later in the holidays. Or maybe sketching, as it was easier to redo, and--
He was quite literally yanked out of his trance. He had a bite. He actually had a bite. He had practically forgotten that he was fishing, but now he had a bite, so…
Steve pulled; was pulled back; pulled a little harder; the resistance continued; and with one final yank, sent a Magikarp flying out of the lake.