Smoke Screen

He pulls a tin of bait from an old canvas bag, faded to murky green. During the week, the tin of bait sits in the fridge, maggots wriggling in confinement alongside lettuce and a block of cheddar. She lets go of the rod to get out the red tartan Thermos. Sharing a hot, strong tea from plastic cups that taste like summer picnics, they silently watch a duck’s feather float along the surface of the water. Finished drinking, shaking the droplets into the grass verge, she reaches into her jumper and pulls out a ten pack of Marlboro’s from under her bra strap. She knows he ain’t been near there in years, so it’s a safe hiding place. Taking pity, she lights one from her own and holds it out to him between yellowed fingers. He takes it, and they sit together in silence, smoking and fishing.
Kate Jones
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