The Mary  

Posted by Scott Wilson

The Mary
By Scott Wilson
Word Count: 615

The last time they’d fished the river they got nary a nibble. So they were not particularly hopeful when they cast into midstream. Clouds filled the sky and made it appear like dusk even though it was only just after lunch.
“You all got any smokes left, Hal?” Mike said.

“No wonder we never catch anything, all those smokes you suck down. The bait probably smells like smoked grubs more than fresh worms.”

Hal tossed his cigarettes to his friend, not before keeping one for himself and lighting.

“Don’t like getting anything on the line anyway, it disturbs the peacefulness of fishing.” Mike said.

Ripples spread out from around the small boat, rocking it slowly, and then building up until sitting became almost impossible.

“What’s that?” Hal said, dropping his rod over the side of the boat as he grabbed hold.

Mike felt the tension on his line tighten. It reeled out cutting deep into his fingers, almost severing two before Mike could untangle his hand. He dropped the rod into the boat and picked up a rag to stem to blood flow.

“Start up the motor!” Mike yelled.

Hal pulled the cord on the motor furiously, cussing when it wouldn’t start.

“Start, damned you son-of-a-bitch!” he yelled.

Mike let go of the rod and it shot forward like a spear, almost impaling Hal on the way past. The rod snapped in two upon flying under the front bench seat, catching on a life jacket on its way out the other side. Whatever was on the other end of the line was strong enough to pull the boat forward.

“Cut the line,” Hal said.

“Yeh, okay. I’ll cut the line; you get the bloody motor going.”

Mike opened the tackle box, pulled the filleting knife out from under the hooks and sinkers, stood up, and moved to cut the line. He stepped over the seat and reached forward with the knife, when the line snapped. The jerk caused the boat to stop suddenly. Mike fell forwards, landing heavily on the arm holding the knife. At the same time, Hal pulled the starter cord and the engine kicked into life. The boat rocked, Hal lost balance and fell over the motor, narrowly missing the blades as he went under water.

Mike’s head rammed into the side of the boat, knocking him unconscious as the boat sped away from Hal.

Hal surfaced just in time to see the wake of his boat as it disappeared into distance.

“Mike!” Hal yelled, swallowing a mouthful of water.

Coming back through the wake Hal saw a disturbing ripple moving straight at him. He turned and swam towards the closest bank. Hal could not help but turn as he swam, hoping that the thing chasing him was getting further away, but it was rapidly gaining on him.

Mike woke up with a throbbing headache and covered in cold salt water. Slowly standing up, Mike saw that his boat ran aground on a sandbank. A large hole in the front of the boat looked like something bit it with gigantic teeth, one of which appeared to be lodged in the twisted metal.

“What the...” Mike said, noticing the remains of the motor hanging limply from the back of the boat.

Mike could not see land in any direction and had no idea where he was. Not far from the sandbar, he saw the disturbing ripple in the water circling the ruins of his boat. Even more disturbing was the incoming tide eating up the small sanctuary keeping him from the creature.


This entry was posted on Friday, May 1, 2009 at 2:58 AM . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .


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