Welcome! Hope you enjoyed the letter from Jack last week! This week, as promised, I’ll be sharing an excerpt from chapter two in The Wish. We drop in as Tom, one of the main characters, is walking home from work and stops off at a lake he used to visit as a boy. Enjoy!
Tom looked to the sky and a bird gliding directly over the lake caught his attention. “A Knot bird?”
The telltale signs of life in any water was the knot bird. Its features were easy to pick out with the head’s brown coloring extending down to its abdomen and speckled wings. These were physical attributes of this bird that anyone who lived by water could recognize. Tom’s eyes followed the bird and its dive to the water.
“Impossible. There’s no fish in that lake.” Tom watched as the bird swooped to the surface of the lake and in one smooth move, diverted its descent to a quick upheaval of flight towards the sky. Tom dropped his sites to the lake and caught a glimpse of a tail fin being swallowed by the shimmering surface.
“A fish? It can’t be.” Tom’s eyes remained focused on the lake. The distraction of another bird closing in from a distance far out by the island caught Tom’s eyes as it joined the first bird circling the lake.
Tom redirected his attention to the lake. “The salmon? The magic salmon! You’re there, aren’t ya?” Tom’s thoughts turned to Maggie. What if I did catch it? Life would be so much simpler. Tom’s heart pounded hard against his chest. I could give Maggie the life she was meant to live. I could get a job that would pay more money, and not have to leave her for weeks at a time.
Tom’s body exploded to a sprint as his once tired legs now carried him to the “family therapist”, the small aluminum dingy that always seemed to have an answer. When Tom reached the boat, his feet came to a stop sooner than his body and he threw his hands on the boat, almost falling over. He braced his stance with his head hung low and eyes lifted up. His breathing matched his heartbeat. Tom blinked in hopes of clearing his sight from the tears that began to build as he searched the water for any signs of life. The birds continued to circle overhead. A ripple of the water proved what Tom had thought,
“It’s out there. All these years, you’ve been there all along. Why? Why show yourself now?” Tom’s roller coaster of emotions filled his head as he thought of all the years he’s known Patrick and the O’Reilly’s. He gained a brother in Patrick and a second family in the O’Reilly’s. Maggie entered his life, and became his “other half”. A sudden sick feeling overcame him as he tried to suppress the original memory that led up to all this being possible: the memory of his first encounter with Patrick. Unable to push this experience from his brain, Tom felt a shudder travel down his spine.
Maybe everything does happen for a reason like Abigail always said. His life took a turn the day he saved Patrick. If he had done anything different on that day twelve years ago, even caught a magic salmon, he wouldn’t have all that he had today. A smile emerged from behind his reminiscent eyes.
Instead of climbing into the boat, Tom turned to go. As he gave one last glance at the lake, something made its way to the surface for a moment, then sunk back down.
“Ya know I see you, don’t ya? What do ya want from me?” Tom’s thoughts raced through his head, attempting to find a connection between him and the fish. Coming up empty, he contemplated his next action. As he surveyed the lake, Tom felt an unusual draw to check it out. You want me to come out, don’t ya? Alright then, lets have a gander.
Tom dug the balls of his feet into the grassy, sandy area, leaned low into the boat and let out a grunt as he wrestled the dingy into the water. He jumped in and began to row to the spot he’d seen something surface. His fishing reel lay at the bottom of the boat next to his feet. Tom didn’t take his eyes off the water. He sat and waited to see something, and began to question his actions. Then it happened.
No more than a fishing reels cast out on the water, a huge shadow just below the surface appeared. Tom lowered his hand to his fishing pole, lifted it up so both hands could grab hold. His lucky artificial bait he got as a gift was dangling at the end of his line.
Tom didn’t take his eyes off the water. He followed the shadow that seemed to be circling the boat from a distance. He cast his reel out just past it. His head filled with thoughts of what it could be. But one thought came back to him, the magic salmon! Was it really just a legend like the Loch Ness Monster? There was only one way to find out. With a shaky but firm grip, Tom held tight to his fishing pole waiting for some sign that he wasn’t losing his mind. It took all of a few minutes before Tom felt a tug on his line. Without notice, his line spun away from him with a ferocious strength that Tom had never experienced. Pull then wind, pull then wind. Whatever it was, it wasn’t going to come into that boat without a fight. Tom wrestled with the catch until every muscle in his back and arms were depleted of their strength. Given the challenge this fish gave its opponent, Tom half-expected his fishing pole to snap in two. As he drew close to welcoming the catch into his boat, Tom gave a few more pulls and winding of the reel then readied himself for what was on the other end of his line.
This is the edited version I will be turning into my publisher this week. You are the first to see it! I hope I’ve peaked your interest and you share my blog as well as my website with others. I’m excited to have so many of you support me and be a part of this very exciting experience.
Next week I’ll be showcasing some amazing local talent and I’m hoping to be able to announce an interview I’m working on with author whose as much of an amazing author as he is a human being. Stay tuned.
Til next week…