#44 Catch and Release

by Thom Gabrukiewicz

I am awakened by moonbeams.

It’s as if lightning has erupted from cloudless skies. I fling open the window to find the evening filled with silvery tendrils that dance and swirl across the night.

Tentative, I snake out my arm and the beams whirl away.

I get my fishing rod, rig the line with a big spoon lure and cast. The moonbeams split as lure and line fling through the air. Several casts offer the same result.

I hit upon an idea, retrieve the spoon and rip a long strip of black construction paper from a pad in my desk. I attach it to a bare hook, add a piece of ball lead for ballast.

In minutes, I’ve a mess of moonbeams squirming on a braided steel stringer.

They squeal, like balloons being rubbed together. The rumpus alerts my mother, who opens my bedroom door, and balls her fists to her hips as she assesses the scene.

In an instant she’s upon me, boxing my ears. She yanks the rod from my hands, encourages me to bed with a single, smarting backhand shot to my backside.

Then she silently shakes the moonbeams back into the night, where they join the others into a schooled migration of luminosity.

She leans the rod in the corner, shuts the window, draws the shade. Silently, she crosses my room to the wedge of light at the door, grabs it with her left hand and turns.

“Some things,” she says, “aren’t meant to be captive.”



When Thom Gabrukiewicz's canine companion, Scully, cut her pads on rough terrain, he was forced to carry her out on top of his pack-eight miles with an extra 50 pounds on his back. Scully recovered, but Gabrukiewicz started looking at trails from a dog's point of view. They have since hiked more than 2,000 miles together, joined by sidekick Trinity. These trails do not require leashes (except in parks as noted). More than two-thirds of the hikes are on lesser known trails where travel is light and where you're unlikely to meet horses, bicycles, or motorized vehicles. They avoid steep, rocky terrain and offer lakes or streams as a reward. Additional features include what to pack for your pooch (The Ten Canine Essentials), and a Trail Finder chart that lists hikes by terrain, difficulty for dogs, leash regulations, and more.

Click on the cover to visit the book's Amazon page.


16 comments:

conboyhillfiction said...

What a fascinating idea!

Ginny said...

I loved it! What a whimsical, word picture you painted. I felt like I was there.

Gary Andresen - Redding said...

I would love to see a video version of this.

Shona Snowden said...

Wonderful idea and great (tragic!) ending.

Julie Nilson said...

A number of great little twists in such a short piece! I was delighted that the narrator capture the moonbeams, I was upset at the mother's violent reaction, and then I was delighted again at her reason for reacting that way.

I agree with Gary--can't you just see this as a Pixar short? It reminded me a bit of "La Luna" (the one where the boy and his grandfathers sweep up the stars).

pegjet said...

I saw this earlier today and thought what an original and whimsical idea! I loved that the mother made a lesson out of it too.

Anonymous said...

Like a trip I took once from my sofa. Keep us posted!

Dee Martin said...

I love it - very visual and original!

JRVogt said...

Dreamlike scene that definitely captures the imagination.

Deb said...

Fabulous! The visuals...wow. Why do I have a sudden desire to listen to Van Morrison?

susan h said...

Love how you flick colorful paint all over the words. You're the BEST.

Meg Czaszwicz Burke said...

I love the mother's response! Great read, Thom!

Anonymous said...

Excellent! So creative and so visual!

Angela Jarvis said...

Very entertaining and visiual. I have a feeling you may have needed that on occasion.

pprmkr1 said...

Gorgeous imagery. Fantastic story. I loved it.

Laura Howe said...

Beautiful scene, loved reading the fanciful tale.