Prelude 1

“Aaron, grab the line!”

I dived after the rapidly disappearing fishing line, missed it and hit my head on the boat’s edge. Tears welled up, along with a bump on my forehead, and I watched in dismay as the line and our first big fish of the day got away.

“You’ll be alright, lad,” said my father, his leathery face crinkling with a smile. “Every fisherman needs a big one that got away story, and you’ll get at least an hour of sympathy from your mother tonight!”

The sun had been out most of the day, keeping the wind down, and we drifted lazily on the sparkling water of the Norfolk Broads, waiting for fish to make up their minds. The long silences were punctuated with occasional manly grunts but not much more. Some days we talked about important things, but that day we just shared the space as father and son, enjoying what seemed to be increasingly rare time together.

The shadows lengthened as the sun drew the day to a close and we rowed back to the shore where our little jetty awaited. I tied up the boat while my father packed our fishing gear into a waiting wheel-barrow. He had a slow, methodical approach that sometimes irritated me, but that day I just watched patiently as he went through his routine.

Suddenly there was a loud rustle in the reeds behind me, followed by a pair of large paws that all but knocked me over. I turned, laughing. “George!”

My father looked up and chuckled while our black Labrador bounded around excitedly, barking furiously, his long pink tongue lolling in the breeze.

“That dog’s as crazy you are, Aaron.”

(Excerpt from the novel: Reflected Days)