"Cut Bait"

Sam baited his hook the way his grandfather had taught him decades before. He ran a half inch of worm around the bend, let the next inch hang, then threaded a little more. Repeat. He did his best to ignore the incessant babble coming at him from the man sitting in the forward seat of the tin boat. It was the same damn thing every day, all summer. Every summer.

The worm wriggled. Sam let it wrap itself around his fingertips, spreading its trail of stressful slime and chocolate brown dung. He’d picked the biggest wriggler of the bunch. The man coughed and looked away but kept right on talking. Something about a stock swap. Like Sam should give a shit. He pinched the worm in half, letting the bottom end drop neatly into the paper box held between his boots.

Published in Voices 2012 by the Toronto Writers Cooperative, October 2012.