Fish Fear Me – A Short Story

 

Mark sat by the lake in peace and tranquillity breathing in the sweet smell of cut grass, he sat and watched the fishing hook below the surface. The float bobbing around the lake waiting with anticipation of his first big catch of the day. He had arrived early. Threading his fishing hook with great precision. He dropped the test float to judge the depth of the water. Putting the bait on his hook and flicking his wrist it dropped into the water.

Mark had been working all week at the factory so the quiet of the lake was a welcome relief from the constant noise. Mark was a big guy used to manual work who could sit for hours waiting for the float to drop. He had rough hands that were full of scars. This was not evident when he gently remove the hook from the fishes mouth. He sat mesmerised watching the line under the water and the fishing hook looking for its target. The only movement by the lake was the gentle bobbing of the float.

The float bobbed down for the third time that day. Mark reached for the rod waiting to flick the end, hooking the fish. As he moved, the fish went off in the opposite direction. The beautiful large body of the carp, swam past Mark almost as if it was taunting him. Mark had been trying to catch this fish for the last three hours. He had changed his bait and his fishing hook nothing was working. At least Mark presumed that this was the same fish. In his head, it was a battle between man and animal.

Again the fish came back dangling its mouth over the hook. Mark was completely engaged, nothing else was happening around him. He was going to catch this one, he didn’t care whether he was late home. He was going to catch this prey before the day was over. He still had several hours of light before he needed to return home.

Mark was so engrossed in catching the fish he failed to notice what was happening around him. It was only when he heard the noise behind him that he was brought back into the present. This was not a normal noise of the country. This was a strange unfamiliar noise like nothing he had ever heard before. The prickling sensation started on the base of his neck. He turned to see what was or who was sneaking up behind him. It was getting dark and there was something lurking in the shadows.

He could use the rod as a weapon. If he was lucky he might even be able to flick the hook and do damage. Hit the intruder to give himself enough time to run to his car.

Mark moved his hand down to his fishing rod feeling the weight of it in his hand. He was glad he had opted for his old wooden rod, rather than the new lighter one. Gripping it tightly he was ready to face whatever foe was coming towards him.

A cloaked man emerged from the bushes and smiled in Mark’s direction. Mark thought he recognised the face, but couldn’t quite place where. If you could actually call it a face. The stranger smiled and pointed his finger at Mark. Mark felt the pain start in the centre of his chest and then travel to his arm. It felt similar to when he had a fishing hook in his finger but 3000 times worse.

He didn’t immediately notice the bright beam of light coming towards him. He watched the light approach and change colour. A warmth spread throughout his body, the pain in his chest forgotten. The empty container of a body then collapsed by the lake.

The light disappeared as soon as it had appeared. The only movement at the lake was Mark’s float going under the water as the carp took the bait off the hook.

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