Our dirt bikes bring all the boys to the yard. Damn right, they're better than yours.

Friday, July 07, 2006

A tall tale of HORROR


Ah, it didn't take long to fall back into old habits once the jobless claws of Oceantown slid easily back into my flesh.
One of those habits, fishing, drew me to new ground and unfamiliar shores. On a sandy stretch of beach, where ocean and river mix for six hours a day, I cast a line into the deep, fast, inland-moving current, fishing for mystery. Using the dollar-store lure that was left on my line, I waved my magic fishing wand, hoping to divine a fish with my rod.
As the lure shuttled from the tip of my pole, I felt a jerk. A clump of monofilament, as long as your arm and knotted to hell, blobbed off the reel, and travelled behind the lure, dropping into the water 20 feet away.
Frustrated, and reeling slowly as not to knot it, I drew the clot of polyvinyl slowly back to me. When it was near enough, I began untangling the clump, and, once it was untangled, reeling the rest of the line.
Through the clear water, the red and green lure hopped over the sandy bottom, from weed to weed, catching every other branch and rock. I reeled faster.
Behind it, though, from the deep darkness out of sight of air-trained eyes, something followed.
It was a pancake. Or some sort of a flying carpet. It had a a life to it, but it didn't look like anything that could be alive.
I pulled in the lure in jerks. The creature followed. Each time, it would bite at a silver bead on the lure, rather than the three-barbed hook at the bottom.
Up, and up, and up it followed, until it was in less than an ankle of water. I lifted the lure with the rod, and made it dance. The creature, laying on its side with one eye slid up beside the other, danced with the lure, nibbling at the bead. I raised the barbs into its line of sight. It raised itself to the bead. Finally, I positioned the barbs under the creature.
Yank!
I'd hooked it. It swam wildly, flipping its pure white belly into view as it fought to escape the steel I'd lodged in its chest.
Finally, after a short struggle, it did.
I looked at it. It sat on the bottom, opening and closing its mouth.
I placed my rod on the rocks near the beach, and, moving slowly, I walked to the creature. It was exhausted.
More as a joke to myself than anything else, I reached down with arms outstretched, like you would to pick up a puppy. The creature sat patiently, waiting. I put a hand on each side of its flattened body, and gently took hold. Straightening my back, I stood up.
I was holding a flounder!
I turned it and looked it in its skewed, slidden eyes. One one side it was covered with brown and grey blotches. On the other, it was a pure white, like a winter snow, or the meat of a scallop. This creature had no top or bottom, only very wide right and left sides. It had no back. It had no belly. I'd never caught one before, and I'd never caught any fish by hand.
I carried it over to some waiting compatriots. They said "oh! It's dying! Put it back!"
I assured them it wasn't, putting it down in a shallow pool to regain its breath and demonstrate its bizzare swimming habits. It undulated briefly, throwing up sand to cover itself. Gently, I picked it up again. I took the sandy creature to a deeper spot and released it into the inbound current of the tidal estuary. It swam off quickly and happily.
"Weren't you going to eat him?" one of my compatriots asked.
"No," I replied. "He's too little."
Honestly, though, I just thought he was far too beautiful to ever bother wasting on something as trivial as dinner.

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alles ist nicht verloren, wunderkindozano. Vielleicht du kanst deine kannst dein Abendessen in den Mull finden.
Katze

3:55 PM

 
Blogger Superdude said...

Babel Fish Translation
In English:
Everything is not lost, wunderkindozano. Perhaps you kanst yours can your dinner in the Mull find. Cat

8:01 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a fantastic story! I never thought I'd read something about fishing that was interesting, but you did it. Congrats.

12:52 PM

 
Blogger Dave said...

Yeah, cool fish tale, Neal -- makes me jealous that I can't go fishing as often as you can. And as we all suspected, you are indeed the Fish Whisperer.

2:16 PM

 
Blogger Alana said...

That's a great story, Neal.

3:21 PM

 

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