Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Darkening Sturgeons: Chapter One


The following is a work of fiction.  It was inspired by a wayward voice-activated Internet search.  Since some of my past scribblings started with one little mix-up, I thought this might be a fun little story to explore.  My goal, if I actually have one, is to write at least one chapter a week.  Sort of a free-wheeling, just sit back and see where the story takes me, creative endeavor to challenge me and entertain others.
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DARKENING STURGEONS 
Chapter One
by  John L. Harmon

    Ned Dobson, all plaid shirt and denim blue jeans, sits patiently on one of those ugly white and green vinyl-webbed lawn chairs.  This debatably comfortable piece of outdoor furniture sets on the rickety dock of Lake Pontoon, a mildly sizable body of calm, pristine water.

    He clutches a 20-year-old fishing rod in his 54-year-old hands, while light blue eyes focus on the motionless bobber resting on the water’s surface.  In such a mind numbing trance the fisherman fails to notice the boater lazily floating fifty feet away, until vocally interrupted.

    “Nothin’ biting, Ned?” Bob Kinney announces his presence with a flair for the obvious.

    “Nope,” Ned eloquently replies and then tilts his ballcap up to scratch his thinning fair-haired head.

    Bob emulates the gesture, except with thinning brown hair, and then follows it with a readjustment of his southern hemisphere.  Roughly the same age as Ned, and dressed extremely similar, Bob had decided to keep the oars inside the boat, allowing the water to dictate his relaxing Saturday summer morning.

    “Nice day, though,” Bob blindly continues.

    “Yup,” Ned responds out of general politeness, hoping this intrusion would just go away.

    Ned and Bob are not really friends, but not really enemies either.  They went to the same school, were in the same grade, but generally led separate lives.  Oddly enough, they hung out at the same pub in their 20’s and now see each other in the same weekday morning coffee group.

    Bob was married and widowed, without children.  Ned was also married but quickly divorced, with one child he rarely sees anymore.  Such is life, and now the two men find themselves sharing one final moment on Lake Pontoon.

    “Hey, Ned,” Bob calls out with edgy curiosity, “the water is growin’ dark.”

    “Reflection of a passing storm cloud,” Ned conjectures without taking his eyes off his unbobbing bobber.

    Bob casts brown eyes upward into a cloudless blue sky and then back down to the darkening mass under his sickly-green boat.  “That ain’t no storm cloud!”

    Ned, hearing the sheer panic, looks up to a most disturbing sight.  Bob, struggling to get the oars maneuvered into the water, begins screaming in vivid horror as the boat violently lurches.

    “Forget the damn boat, Bob, and swim for it!” Ned stands up, hollering his pointless advice.  At the same moment, the sickly-green rowboat and Bob Kinney are instantly pulled beneath the water into whatever darkness lurks therein.

    Stunned into silence, but not action, Ned drops his pole—just as the bobber commences a light jerking movement—and runs like hell to his beat-up old pick-up truck, losing his ballcap on the way.  The second he rumbles the engine to life he peels away, his voice returning with a stream of intensely colorful cussing that would cause a sailor’s mouth to be washed out with anti-bacterial soap.

    Ned Dobson’s dented, blood red truck soon roars past the city limit marker with the multi-colored sign hanging underneath:

WELCOME TO STURGEONS

Population: 4, 017

The Good Life Begins And Ends Here!
 
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Click CHAPTER TWO to continue.

Until next time…be well, Readers, and Freak Out,

JLH

 

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