Tom Whitehead: (In the deep husky Marlboro movie guys voice) HEEEEEEEEEEEER FISHY, FISHY, FISHY!
It was an early Saturday morning. He thought it was just another day of fishing, then all of a sudden out of nowhere he realized it WAS just another day of fishing...the end.
Leona Pence: And Fishy knew right then the ruse had worked. The next time the gullible hulk stuck his pole in the water, he'd catch much more than he bargained for.
As the unsuspecting fisherman approached the water he heard in a low voice heeeeeeere human human human.
Sadly, the poor unsuspecting human thought the voice was part of the creepy music he'd been listening to. With a smirk on his face, he danced around his camp chair twice before sitting down and opening his tackle box. He didn't notice the huge school of Fishy swimming in a circular motion toward him. The fisherman thought he was graceful enough to dance, but he was just tripping over the uneven ground. He saw a movement in the water but paid no attention to it. As he baited his hook the motion was getting faster and bigger. He slowly backed away from the water.
He stepped back right into a small hole in the ground which caused him to lose his balance and fall hard on his fleshy butt. Immediately, the fishing line wound rapidly and tightly around both his feet. Something pulled him toward the water. All he could grab onto was mud as he clawed to stop the forward movement. The Fishy had him in the water now. His heart pounded. How was he going to escape their wrath?
Then he remembered something he saw on TV, poke them in the eye. No wait, that was sharks. He took one deep breath as he went under pawing at the air and slapping the water as he sank down not able to kick his feet. All of a sudden he stood up because the water was only 4 foot deep at the bank, but he was being pulled out to the deeper part of the lake.
And pull him deeper, they did. He thrashed the same way Fishy did when caught on his hook. His whole body was squeezed through a type of tunnel. He could no longer feel the water. A loud voice called out, "Open your eyes and breathe now, human." The fisherman did as he was told but nearly gagged up his breakfast at the putrid odor that assaulted his nostrils. He was reminded of Fishy remains that had sat in a bucket in the sun for a week or more.
As he stood up he realized his hands were bound with moss. The more he struggled the tighter they became. He was surrounded by water with only a 6-foot circle of swampy land. There were several fish, all different types in the surrounding wall of water. The King Catfish was able to communicate through a type of telepathy. He could tell it was a superior species. A strange thought went through his mind, he wished he had his pole because some of those fish were of good size. Then his bounds grew tighter. The fish could read his thoughts. It was his worst nightmare.
Obviously, the fisherman didn't realize he had been swallowed by Bowser, part Fishy, park Sharky. Swampy land was in truth the belly of Bowser. The Fishy were holding court and charges shouted out. "Murder, murder, murder times 1000! Most men fish for food for a meal but you, you, fish constantly, hoarding FISHY just to have a big party to celebrate and eat us. What do you have to say to these charges?"
It's true, he said. We gather, some times in large groups and sometimes just alone and feast on your flesh. That's what humans do, we pray on smaller, weaker and helpless animals or in this case, mammals. We do it not to show superiority, but to survive. I don't kill just to kill, I actually eat what I catch. Just as you do, he said. Studies have been done for decades showing what fish eat from small bait fish to large-mouth bass. Hoping statistics will help he says, we know that the large adult catfish lay on the bottom of the lake in wait of smaller fish to swim by so it can eat them. That makes you no better or worse than me, he said. Now, waiting for a response from the king catfish either to admit what he said is true or condemn him for doing exactly what they do.
"You are fortunate today, fisherman. Your defense has met our approval. However, will you refrain from being so jubilant each time you cause our death? Don't catch our attention again...be warned...or you will forever join our FISHY ranks until you, yourself, become food for man or fish.
Thank you, King...Catfishy, he said sheepishly. He left with the knowledge that fish are aware
The FISHY soon disbanded and swam away, all but three who understood well what the fisherman had just gone through. They hadn't been as glib as he and now spent their days swimming to and fro. As long as they watched out for baited hooks and bottom feeders, it wasn't half bad down here.
Now the fisherman started to wonder how he was going to get back to the surface. He heard what he can only imagine as laughter coming from the fish.
"Don't worry, fisherman," said Bowser, as he swam underneath him, lifted and tossed him ashore. "Come back anytime" Bowser watched the man stand shakily and walk away. He wondered how long it would take this one to convince himself he'd only been dreaming.
Bio: Leona Pence is a mother of four a grandmother to twelve and great-grandmother to seven. She started writing later in life after the death of her husband of forty-four years. Hemphill Towers was written when she was sixty-five published at 70. You can find her on Amazon; Bump off Your Enemies Anthology; The Darwin Murders Anthology; iTunes; and at her Blog Leonaschatter