The Broken Man and the Haunted Fishing Pole
Red Wilson (or “Robert Travers Wilson, Jr.,” when he was in trouble) considered the uncooperative fish smirking within the fishing hole. He smacked the mud off his knees with his cap before dropping it on the creek bank. His thoughts were pesky and numerous, like the swarm of no-see-ums buzzing by his lashes. To clear both, he shook his head. Early summer fireflies, enjoying the warmth of the late afternoon sun, flashed in lazy preparation for their twilight dances. All of Red’s worries bubbled back to the surface with each tiny green glint of light.
Everything had started goin’ all wrong because Dad had what the doc had called a “breakdown.” Poor Dad did look like he was all "broken" now, too. And smashed and crumpled to boot. And sad – always so very sad. He’d worked himself to a nub at the firm, Biddle & Company. He’d made Ol’ James Biddle great gobs of cash in the process. For his trouble, Biddle fired him when Dad was too sick to work anymore.
Mom, her eyes held a strained, haunted look now. She tried not to let Dad see the effect he was havin’ on her. But she couldn’t try hard enough to keep Red from seeing all she was going through. And Red sort of fell into the background, like crumbs through a crack..
Their home, rented out for now. But just this morning, Red had overheard Mom