Catching Fish

The trampoline stood in my suburban backyard, grass crawling up its posts. Sitting on the edge, I peered at the endless sky, squinting my eyes and twirling a lock of my hair. Pink bled through heavy, gray clouds. I wondered what changed the hue of the sky, if there are people who meet in a room to decide what color to paint it today and whether or not it should reflect the events cementing the hours. Creamy pink seeped into the smoky shade. My friend was probably noticing it, too, on his way home. He had taken his little sister out for ice cream. Then the eight year old I was babysitting, jumping on the trampoline with me, only about half my age, must’ve seen my crinkled forehead. She followed my eyes.



“There’s pink in the sky!” she shouted with a beaming smile.



“Why’re you so excited?” I asked as she continued to jump.



“’Cause my daddy’s taking me fishing tomorrow morning and he says that whenever there’s pink in the sky, we’ll catch some,” she explained.



“What does pink have to do with catching fish?” I asked.



She just shrugged and said, “I don’t know.”



I nodded and watched her jump some more, playing with the question like putty in my hands. The color of the sky mirrored the blood of the fish when the hook pierces its mouth, controlling it, reeling it in, crimson clouding in the lake water. The trampoline shook beneath me as I sat on the side and studied the sky. My friend was probably home now. Then I wondered, if there really were people in a room, if sometimes they warned what the day would be like tomorrow, as if telling the fish to hide. The girl’s head bounced into the backdrop, her silhouette jumping into ashes and melted strawberry ice cream.



And I didn’t know that one day the idea of catching fish and a pink sky, and the hopes that arose to eager fishermen, would turn into something so guilty, that the people in the room wouldn’t be warning fish anymore.





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