{{ contest.story_page_sticky_bar_text }} Be the first to recommend this story.
Get Free Copy

100 free copies left

This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.

0
Free copy left
You can read our best books
SnydersOfHanover would love your feedback! Got a few minutes to write a review?
Write a Review

Psych: Better Than Pugs

By SnydersOfHanover

Humor / Mystery

Prologue: Fishing

Spring 1987

It was early morning, the sun just beginning to rise above the city of Santa Barbara, California. Henry Spencer stood at the edge of his fishing boat, leaning on the railing and holding a rod into the deep waters of the Pacific Ocean. Next to him stood 9-year-old Shawn, limply holding a fishing rod of his own while his eyes drooped sleepily. As Shawn slumped further onto the railing, his rod began to slip little-by-little from his tired hands. Just in time, Henry scooped up Shawn's rod before it dropped into the ocean to be lost forever.

"Shawn! Pay attention!" Henry shouted, startling Shawn from his near slumber.

"Wha..ah..what, Dad?" said Shawn looking about, as if surprised to find himself standing on a boat instead of resting comfortably in his bed.

"Wake up. We're not here to sleep. We're here to fish," said Henry frustratingly.

"Whhyyy?" Shawn groaned.

"And look at this!" Henry continued, ignoring Shawn's complaint. "You almost lost your rod! This is a top-of-the-line Berkley and a gift from Grandpa Spencer. What would Grandpa say if he found out you dropped your gift into the ocean?"

"We wouldn't have to tell him," mumbled Shawn.

Henry sighed and counted to ten silently before lightening his tone. "Son? Why do you think I asked you to come fishing with me?" asked Henry.

Shawn shrugged. "So…we can stab a helpless earth worm through the gut, dangle him in saltwater and fool a totally innocent fish into thinking he found a free meal, only to rip him out of his home where he will suffocate until we cut him open and eat him?" he suggested.

Henry groaned and shook his head. "No, Shawn. Fishing isn't just that. Fishing is a skill that has been passed from father to son for centuries. It is the circle of life. It is survival. It is a man venturing out into the dark, or the cold, or whatever conditions necessary to provide food for his family…"

Shawn stared at his father, a look of child-like confusion etched on his face. "Couldn't he just go to the Stop N' Shop on a sunny Saturday afternoon?" he asked.

"You're missing the point, Shawn," said Henry, unsuccessfully trying to keep the frustration from showing in his voice as he continued. "Fishing is…getting in touch with nature, learning the nuances of ocean life, AND…" Henry's index finger pushed into his son's chest. "…your life."

"Huh?" said young Shawn, looking more perplexed than before.

"Son, for centuries, fathers and sons have taken out to the open waters to fish. But it's not just about the fishing. You see, fishing requires patience…waiting…and that slow pace is the perfect opportunity for boys and their fathers to speak to each other…talk about whatever is on their minds, philosophize about life…"

"Feelawfulsize?" Shawn questioned, the misunderstanding going unexplained by Henry.

"So Shawn, I'm here. You're here. This is your chance. Tell me what's on your mind. What are you thinking about?"

Shawn paused and thought carefully for a moment before answering. "Umm…I'm thinking about…a fluffy mattress, a warm blanket, and dreams of sugarplums dancing in my head. No wait! I don't even know what sugarplums are. Let's say…Kit Kat Bars…and they aren't dancing, they're uh…sky-diving!"

Henry covered his face with his one free hand and shook his head in defeat. "Whatever, Shawn. Maybe this isn't going to make any sense to you right now, but when you grow up and get married and have your own son, you are going to want to take him fishing and then you will understand."

"Get married?! Like…to a girl?!" Shawn exclaimed. "Why would I want to do that? I don't even like girls."

This time Henry chuckled. "Believe me, in a few more years you will change your mind about that."

"How do you know?" Shawn challenged.

"Because you will," Henry stated before feeling a tug on his fishing line. His attention turned to reeling in the fish on the other end until an empty line yanked free of the water. "Damn. I missed him!" he mumbled before re-baiting and tossing his line back in, and then resuming the conversation with his son. "Shawn, you know that gift that Grandma left for you?"

"You mean the one I'm not supposed to open until I'm a grown-up?" Shawn asked.

"That's the one," said Henry. "Do you want to know what's in there?"

"Are you allowed to tell me?"

"Of course, I can. I think you are old enough to know."

"Then, yes!" Shawn lit up, excitement overtaking his sleepiness.

Henry turned from the ocean to face his son. "It's a ring."

"A ring?" Shawn said disappointedly, hoping to hear that it was a key to mansion or a big wad of cash. "What kind of ring?"

"A diamond ring," Henry answered.

"But…isn't that a girl's ring?"

"Of course it's a girl's ring. The ring isn't for youShawn. It's for your future wife. One day…after you start liking girls…you are going to meet one and fall in love with her. Then you are going to want to give her that ring and marry her, and maybe even you'll want to start a family with her. Then you'll have your own sons or daughters to take fishing, or camping, or whatever, and you'll want to teach them about life. Understand?"

Shawn thought for a moment then adamantly shook his head from side-to-side. "Nope. Nu-uh. That's never gonna happen. Not to me."

"Well, let's just wait and see," said Henry.

Suddenly, Shawn's rod which he still held loosely in his hands began to tug. Henry set aside his own rod and helped Shawn to reel in a good-size bass.

"Ho ho ha!" exclaimed Henry holding up the plump fish. "This will make an excellent dinner tonight!"

Shawn nodded in passive agreement. "Great...Does this mean we can go home now?"

"Yes," said Henry rolling his eyes and shaking his head in frustration. "We can go home now."

Continue Reading Next Chapter
Further Recommendations

Lydia Walters: I really enjoyed this novel. It gives us a view of what could be if we really tried.Also that there's nothing wrong with loving our LORD and our fellow humans. couldn't wait to get to each new chapter (mission). Thanks, Joe!

tsolaidowu: I want a continuation dammit....I loved this book and the 1st one. I can't believe this is it. I'm not ready to say goodbye to Jeff and Lorie; and the gang. Great book and storyline. You're a genius Madelyn.

NRF: I love this story, it has a little bit of everything in it, mystery, adventure, murder, innocence, love and a surprise twist that will leave you hungry for more! Great read! NRF

Roxie: This was a very well thought out story and I greatly enjoyed it! I don't usually go for these kinds of stories because of clichés and what not, nut this was great. There were a few typos and grammatical errors, but that is to be expected. While I knew the overall end of the story It was engaging ...

emilia handy: THIS BOOK WAS JUST SO AMAZING?!?!!??! I couldnt make myself stop reading it. it had such amazing characters and an amazing plot twist. i suggest everybody should read this that likes humor as well as romance.

Sara Grover: When I first started reading, it was a bit slow; though only because it was so information intense and fast-paced in trying to describe how this complex galactic corporation/government like entity controls known space. I would suggest maybe adding a preface to better educate the reader to help av...

Jazie Alyssa Flores: There may have been many grammar errors. But OMG this story had me on an emotional rollercoaster ride. I loved every bit of it. The relationship Sydney and Cameron had was beautiful. I loved how it wasn't a typical love story but revolved around a growing friendship and the drama that surrounded ...

Tavis Ryan King: "What Happened to Charlie Carmine" is a fabulous mo-gee-toe cocktail fuelled midget orgy of psychology, fantasy and sarcasm. I laughed out loud when reading this novel so many times it made the London commuters I shared space with look at me with curious disdain - and I did not care.The protagoni...

rak9485: I just finished with ch 24 n the story cut off at the end of the chapter please tell me there is more to this story I need to know the ending like if they end up together. do they have sex or not? do they date? is she to afraid to b in a relationship after Tyler.

More Recommendations

Jordan Young: *ALERT FOR POSSIBLE SPOILERS* Where to start? I don't know how to sum up this review, this story was absolutely sensational. Brilliant. Flawless. I loved every single bit of this story, it is truly amazing. I read this story in fifteen hours, it is magnificent. I loved everything about it, the p...

Spring: I normally don't read fiction novels, but I absolutely enjoyed reading Silent Shadows! The style is quite different from the previous fiction novels I've attempted to read. Great job!

erene1343: I love the book , it gets you hooked pretty fast , one of the best books I read in this app . Love Thera and Rye they're such a cute couple .😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😘😍😍😍😍😍😍😍

Jennifer Kane Martin: I am a high school teacher, and the dialogue and inner thoughts are PERFECT. However, the lack of capitalization, punctuation, and the typos are distracting. Don't let these get in the way of a potentially good story.

ianwatson: The comedy is original and genuinely funny, I have laughed out loud many times reading this book. But the story and the plot are also really engaging. The opening two or three chapters seem quite character-dense but they all soon come to life and there is no padding, filling or wasted time readin...

About Us:

Inkitt is the world’s first reader-powered book publisher, offering an online community for talented authors and book lovers. Write captivating stories, read enchanting novels, and we’ll publish the books you love the most based on crowd wisdom.