Diglot Weave French Short Story – Passing Dawn

Lvl 1 Nouns

The pluie is a brume so fine that the garçon, having watched the ephemeral tacheschute’ since their arrival, couldn’t tell if they reached the sol. They hang there, drifting on courants of air that would not disturb the soft downy filaments of a plume. Each tiny gouttelette a point of lumière illuminated by the réverbère in the still matin air, frozen in temps.

The matin is froid, a crisp froid that cuts through everything and curls froid doigts into trembling fists. When the garçon pulls the air into his lungs, the froid seems to become trapped and spreads across his poitrine. It is not entirely unpleasant, and rather than dampening his excitation, it only serves to highlight it.

For despite the fact that it is perfect temps for sleeping in, for wrapping yourself tighter in the warmth of your draps and pushing back waking for a few hours more, the garçon up and dressed when his père gently tapped on his porte at 5.30 am.

Each of the three cannes à pêche he holds has the crochets pulled down and latched onto an œillet, their conseils curving downwards as if a poisson is already tugging at the fin.

“Zip up your veste,” the père instructs.

But before the garçon can move to comply, his père is already leaning in zipping it up for him, pulling the veste closed. He tussles the boys hair, then returns to the tâche of unloading the gear from the voiture.

Whether by the zipped up veste or by a fathers amour, the froid that had gotten stuck in his poitrine is pushed back and replaced by something that can only be described as warmth.

The garçon shuffles in endroit while his père prepares, the movement keeping him warm while also serving as an prise de courant for his restless anticipation.

They bundle everything together as best they can and head down to the sable. The marche is a numéro d’équilibriste, both of their bras filled with fishing gear, but why make two trips when you can do it in one?

The soleil was yet to breach the horizon, but as he watches his père threading the appât onto his crochet, the monde had never seemed so bright.

“There you go copain.” The père mains the garçon the canne.

He looks at the appât dangling in front of him and finds it hard to imagine any poisson out beyond the shore being tempted by the eyeless poisson head pierced through and through by the crochet.

“Thanks papa.”

“Want me to cast it for you?”

“Nah, I got it..”

The garçon crochets his finger around the fishing ligne just above the moulinet and unlatches the bague that stops the ligne from unspooling under the weight of the tackle. The bague is called the “bail bras”. When Dad had brought the canne home earlier in the week, the garçon had studied the manuel with feverish diligence. Without hésitation, he could name every element of the canne and moulinet and describe its but.

With a steady posture, he keeps a keen eye on the canne‘s tip, positioning himself for the cast. Focusing on the tip of the canne is a habit he had picked up while practising in his arrière-cour. A necessary adaptation to avoid the low-hanging branche of the neighbour’s arbre à gomme that reached over the clôture. As he cast towards the back of the yard every afternoon after school that week, his proximité to the branches had not initially been an issue. But by mercredi, standing by the overhanging arbre à gomme and targeting the far left back corner was the longest unobstructed ligne he could find in the confines of the arrière-cour.

He lowers the canne until it’s parallel to the sol, then with a sudden mouvement, he flicks it up over his head, unhooking his finger from the ligne just a fraction after it passes directly over his head. The appât and plomb swing around each other as they sail through the air, creating an audible plouf when they hit the eau twenty to thirty mètres out into the bay.

He lets the plomb traction the ligne from the moulinet as it sinks, then flicks the bail bras back in endroit and winds in the slack.

“WHAT?!” his papa turns to him, incredulous. “Where did you learn to do that?” Truly speechless, the père‘s admiration is more than the admiration a père shows a fils. Although neither of them recognises it, it is the dawning respect that one homme has for another. “Wow!”

The garçon shrugs, but there is fierté in his voix as he replies. “I watched how to do it on youtube.”

His père rests his main on the back of the garçon‘s head and leans in. “I wish I could have been there to help you practice.”

The père looks at his fils his gaze carries a blend of fierté and melancholy. I just held you for the first temps only yesterday. The père thinks. When did you become this small, capable garçon? An unsettling réponse arises from his mind: during those five days a week when there weren’t enough minutes left in the day for a père to tell a fils all the things he wanted to say.

“How do I teach him to be a homme in a monde so different to the one I grew up in if I can’t even find the temps to teach him how to cast?”

He brushes these pensées aside and sets himself to the tâche at main.

“Sit that one in the support and cast this one out that way.”

The garçon does as told, nestling the canne into the stand his père had set up – a humble tube affixed to a sable screw.

“We’ll leave that as a set ligne,” he mains the garçon a second canne, “and we’ll use this one with a leurre.”

The garçon looks up, eyeing the rubber poisson attached at the fin of the ligne, a crochet protruding from its ventre.

“I wasn’t sure if you’d be ready for the leurre,” the père admits, “but after seeing how good you are at casting, I reckon you’re up to it.”

“How do I do it? ”the garçon asks, curiosity in his eyes.

“First, cast it out that way,” the père points out across the eau, “ I’ll talk you through it the rest.

The garçon moves with practised intent once more, dipping the canne behind him as he crochets his finger around the ligne.

He flicks the canne, and the leurre sails through the air in a graceful arc before hitting the eau.

“Ok, now let it sink to the bottom like you did before.”

The garçon lets the leurre descend and then drops the bail bras into endroit before winding in the slack.

“Perfect. What you need to do now is gently lift the leurre off the bottom and traction it towards you. Make it hop along the bottom so it acts like a poisson swimming towards you.”

The garçon pulls the canne back, in his mind’s eye envisioning the leurre lifting off the sable. He then reels it in, keeping the tension on as he lowers the canne again, allowing the leurre to sink gently back to the seabed.

“You’re a natural copain.”

Pride fills the garçon as he continues winding in the leurre with a rhythmic montée and chute. Until the leurre emerges from the eau, dancing across the sable coming to rest at the garçon’s pieds.

“Just keep on casting. Mix it up a bit; aim your casts at different locations,” his père advises while uncapping a bottle of pungently smelling poisson oil. He pours a steady stream into the eau, the scent cutting through the crisp matin air. “This should let the poisson know there’s some food in the area worth investigating. Remember to keep an eye on your set ligne too.”

The garçon positions himself again and skillfully cast the ligne over the eau. His père finishes organising the gear and sets up his own ligne, baiting the crochet on one canne and casting it out. He then casts the leurre, sending it out over the eau.

Father and fils cast out from the beach, all the while chatting and enjoying one another’s company. They don’t notice the soleil peek above the horizon. They barely comment when the gently falling brume no longer falls. Their attention is now filled with one another. They each tell of their week’s adventures and share funny stories they had been saving for just such an occasion. They cast and recast happy and carefree. Until bam!

The garçon jolts as the canne is almost pulled from his mains.

“Dad!” The mot is a panicked plea, a call of excitation and uncertain frisson.

“You got one!” The père reels his ligne in quickly and sets it aside.

“You take it, Dad. I don’t know what to do.”

“No, you got it, copain.”

“No, papa, I’m scared.”

The poisson on the fin of the ligne pulls ferociously.

“Argh, Dad take it!”

The père kneels in the sable next to his fils. His voix is soft when he speaks, the monde drops away, and all the garçon can hear is his père‘s voix.

“I know you can do this.”

The garçon looks away from the canne, his bras tense, and looks at his père.

His père‘s eyes fix on his, “You got this, copain. Just like reeling in the leurre, traction it up then lower it down, reeling it in as you go.”

The garçon struggles against the traction from the other fin of the ligne.

“It’s too heavy.” Doubt and fear are close winning, but the père’s voix remains soft and calm.

“Loosen the traîner, just a little. GIve him a bit more ligne but not too much, make him work for it.”

“I can’t.”

“Yes, you can,” There’s no room for doubt in the père’s voix “let go of the winder and use your free main to adjust the traîner.”

“He’s going to break free.” The statement is a plea.

But the fathers voix never waivers. “It’s ok if he breaks free copain, sometimes they do that. But if you don’t try you’ll never know if you could have got him in on your own.”

Slow and uncertain, the garçon takes his main off the winder and twists the dial on top of the moulinet, loosening the traîner. “Just a little bit.” Cautions his père.

He dips the canne and winds in a few pieds of ligne before raising it again. The traîner performs perfectly, letting out just enough ligne to buffer the tension as he raises the canne to it’s peak. With a fluid movement, the poisson is pulled closer to the shore.

“How’s that? Better?”

The garçon nods, intent now on the ligne. “Uh-huh”.

He lowers the canne again, reeling in ligne as he does.

A sourire flashes across his face. “It’s a big one, isn’t it Dad?”.

The père barks a laugh, “I think it is, fils.”

The ligne slices through the eau as the poisson pulls to one côté. The garçon instinctively counters by pulling the canne in the opposite direction.

“You’re doing it, copain! You got this!”

The sourire is now plastered across the garçon‘s face, stretching from ear to ear. The père takes his eyes from the ligne and looks at his fils. He forgets the poisson and loses himself in awe at how much a personne can amour. His fils’s sourire fills his entire monde.

“I think I can see it, papa!”

The père looks back to the ligne. It ends just a few mètres from the shore now. His eyes follow the ligne beneath the surface, and there, pulling against the ligne, the poisson. A flathead at least 40cm long shaking its head from côté to côté.

“I see it!” Exclaims the père. “It’s a flatty,” he pauses for effet “, and it’s huuuuge.”

Each montée and chute of the canne is now confident. No ombre of hésitation or incertitude remains.

“I’ll get the net.” The père rushes to the gear piled up on the sable and retrieves the net. He turns back to see the flathead splash from the shallows onto the wet sable.

A gentle wave perfectly timed crashes on the shore and pushes the poisson further up the sable away from any chance of escape.

He rushes down, digs the net into the sable beneath the poisson, and lifts out from the small vagues.

“I did it. I did it. I caught a poisson.”

“You didn’t just catch a poisson, you caught a huge poisson!”

The garçon holds the canne aloft with one main and raises the other, clenched as a fist in triomphe.

The père cheers, “Yeaaaaah wooooo. You caught poisson!!”