Here’s yet another 297 word response to the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Rodeo’s TUFF Contest prompt “papa’s bar” posted on September 7th. To see the winners of that competition, the Fab Five, go to Carrot Ranch. The Fab Five continue to duke it out with further TUFF challenges even as the weekly rodeo contests continue all this month.
They found Farm Boy, a teetotaler, at a bar.
When Wally had finished- weighed his scallops, emptied his barrels, washed down his bench- he got in his truck and shone his lights on Farm Boy’s mooring. His boat still wasn’t in.
“Are ya sure, Wally? He mighta tied up on someone else’s mooring. They all look alike to him.” Earl tried to reassure Wally, even as he climbed into his truck, going with him back to the pier where his boat was tied up.
Farm Boy had fished with Wally season before. Learned scalloping pretty quick for someone not raised on the water. Farm Boy had picked up a wooden hulled outfit with an old sixty-horse outboard, figured he was ready to go on his own this season. And he was doing all right, applied what he’d learned from Wally. Wally was glad he hadn’t shown him all the good spots. The competition was a little less friendly at the end of the season when it was harder and harder to fill a limit.
Earl and Wally searched, slowly made their way up harbor.
“I saw him towing here mid-day.”
“Bastard musta gone up through the Bends.”
They came upon his boat first.
“That’s impressive,” Earl remarked.
“That smashed bow?”
“The five crowned bushel on board. He got his limit.”
“Musta hit some hard to get thrown. We should be okay, tides comin’ now… There he is! Water up to his waist. Hey, Farm Boy! No man is an island.”
Earl laughed as they pulled along the shivering young man. “Come on, get in, Farm Boy. Looks like you found Papa’s Bar the hard way.”
“Papa’s Bar? I thought that was some bar you two go to.”
“Our favorite sand bar. Come on, let’s get you home.”