(Yes, I’ve more than once considered putting out a short story collection entitled Quit Wishin, Go Fishin. At one point I sat down and started jotting down stories – all one word titles, all true, mind you – and had 25 of them w/o even really thinking about. On second thought…this might have to happen one day, but I digress…)
This one take place about a decade ago, the summer before my junior year of college and Lil Stevens first year. We were both about to go our respective ways back to school, milking the last life out of our vacation, and one night on a whim decided we were headed out to Edstrom’s Pond to do some fishing.
(Edstrom of course being an old fella down the road that let is fish in exchange for the occasional job, like unloading a stove or something. Pretty solid little system we all had worked out.)
For whatever reason, that night was like Nirvana at the fishing hole. We timed dusk just right, the crickets were chirping, it was like something from a storybook. We both tied on Blue-Backs (a specific type of lure, for the fishing un-enthusiasts out there) and went to town. I mean slayed them. Twenty or thirty within an hour.
One of our finer outings for sure.
Edstrom’s Pond was shaped like an oversized tear-drop, w/ the bottom being the deep end, where he had built a little damn. On the top point, it was much more shallow, though nobody knew exactly how shallow.
Not before that night anyway.
A little over an hour into our outing, Lil Stevens got hung up in some submerged brush. Never one to be known for being delicate, he tried to rip it out and ended up breaking his line. Sadly, his Blue-Back was now lost in the bottom of the pond.
After a great deal of pissing and moaning – not to mention trying to steal mine – he resigned himself to his fate, tied on a buzz bait and went back down to the far point. Upon arrival, he sees his Blue-Back has floated to the surface. In his teenage excitement, without thinking he kicks his sandals off, tosses his shirt aside and goes flying into the water. Head-first, arms-extended, a man on a mission.
At that moment we discovered the shallow end of the pond was very shallow. Like, a two foot deep shallow.
To this day I have never heard anything smack the water as hard as he did that night. The second I heard I took off running around the high side, scared to death the kid had just broken every rib he had. He came up wheezing a moment later, signaled he was okay, trying in vain to catch his breath.
Halfway there, I stopped running and hit my knees, laughing so hard I couldn’t breathe either. It took us both a full ten minutes to get ourselves back together.
(Though, to his credit, he DID get his lure back afterwards…)