Lure – Flash Fiction

She watched him by the waters edge through the early morning mist. Relaxed and confident now that they were far from town. With a flick of his wrist he cast the fly out over the river. It touched down lightly on the surface of the water. The current held it in place as he drew the line towards him in jerking movements, simulating a darting insect.

“I’ve never been fishing on a date before,” she smiled adjusting her footing on the bank.

“I’m not a huge fan of crowds,” he said, his focus never left the fly.

“Neither am I, if I’m honest. Samantha and I moved out here to put some distance between us and the past,” she said, noting he looked up when she mentioned the past. He was a big man, a rough man. Far larger than she remembered.

“We’re all running from something,” he said shrugging. “I know this more than most,” opening his mouth to speak he hesitated and then spoke. “Why did you ask me out? I mean, I’m glad you did. I just don’t know why.”

“I haven’t dated anyone in close to six years,” she laughed nervously. “I even tried a personals ad. What a fail that was,” she looked up to face him, her cheeks were starting to feel warm. “I heard you had a history,” she let the words hang. “That you’ve been to prison.” His jaw twitched.

A flash of silver and the lure ducked under water as a trout struck. The line went taught and John reeled in the slack. Susan skidded on the river pebbles searching for a net. Leaning back on the rod it doubled over to kiss the water. Three times he drew on the line, each time the fish came closer.

“I’ve got it,” Susan said, stepping into the icy water she lifted the net. A large brown trout thrashed within.

John grasped the trout firmly preventing any movement and slit its throat. Susan was standing close by. He looked up at her, the lifeless fish in his hands.

“Looks like we have breakfast,” he said. She could tell he was hurt but thought better of saying anything more.