by Jack O’Brien

My brother zealously flings the rod line to land yards away from the boat and inches from a clump of crowning seaweed. He scowls at the attempt and the reelbegins to tumble as the lure is sucked back onboard for redeployment. Our hands are dried and cracking from the sea salt stained rod ends. Loose fishing line splays to fill one bucket, the result of resetting each tangled mess that my brother has routinely found himself in. The waves lap against the boat’s underside to chuckle, we float unmoored like a jostling breeze to a hammock. Big, deep laughter maroons its syllables below our feet as a passing ship spreads out its wake. Gulls chitter from crooked pylons paying us no mind; we aren’t catching much. My brother lifts the bail of the rod, holds one finger in place over the fishing line like a bow of a present, and winds up by dipping the rod behind his back. He jackknifes the rod at the fulcrum of his elbows, attempting to cast outwards. The line sails upward at a failed release, shooting high into the stratosphere. The brilliantly blue lure follows the unfurled coils of line in its descent to Earth, shaking its twin hooks from a plastic fish’s body. Unbalanced, it tailspins downwards to land in my hair like a haystack.



Jack O’Brien is a creative writing major coming from Cape Elizabeth, Maine to bring you the tales of the sea ranging from the ocean’s resounding triumphs to the hushed murmurs of the dock boards.