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Welcome to my story blog. I will post one new story here every day. You are welcome to comment on any or all of them. Enjoy!
                   --Lee Pound

Day 275 - Fish

It was supposed to be the best fishing spot on the Kern River and Stevie had staked it out early Saturday morning.

He stood on a tiny almost island with three bushy trees on the edge of the river, fishing pole in hand, occasionally tossing the line and lure into the rapids. So far nothing but this was supposed to be the best spot ever.

At 10 a.m. he made one last toss way out into the middle of the stream and started to reel the line in. After three turns he felt a sudden jerk on the line. He’d caught something. You never knew what in this river, fish, some kind of animal, tree branch, rock, who knew. This, however, was active and strong.

Stevie pulled on the rod and turned the reel. Whatever was on the other end of the line pulled back. He reeled in about three feet of line and lost one foot. It was fighting him. He stood on the edge of the bank flashing a grim expression towards whatever was out there. “You’re not getting away,” he yelled. He pulled up and reeled in a few inches. This critter was tough.

He had visions of a very fishy lunch as he struggled with the line. He could see something splashing out there but it was hard to make out.

He pulled the rod back again. It bent to a tight angle. His arms ached with the fight.

Suddenly the line went limp. Stevie fell backwards and the rod and reel fell behind him. Fishing line dropped all around him. He grabbed for the rod and pulled. Nothing. No resistance. He crawled to his knees. His back and arms ached. He silently reeled the line in. There was a lot of it.

Finally the end of the line slipped out of the river. Something was attached to the hook. He reeled it in. Black and almost round. He pulled it close and examined it.

Cloth.

He stared out into the river then back to the tiny place where he stood. What was out there? he thought. His cell phone was no good up here so he couldn’t call anyone. He stood for a second more in the silence broken only by the rushing river. For the first time, he looked at his surroundings carefully. The river, 50 yards wide, rushed past him, crashing over rocks in the middle of the stream. The bank on his side was sandy and lined with bushes and a few trees. On the other side it was a bank two feet high with the water rushing close.

Suddenly he was scared. Here he was, out here alone, and he’d hooked a piece of cloth. Attached to what? He ran from the bank, up the slope to the parking lot, to his car, alone near the edge of the river.

He drove. Fast. Then he slowed down a bit. What if it was…? Nothing? He drove slower down the winding road along the river, all the way back to San Bernardino. It was nothing. He wasn’t going to say anything. He watched the news. Nothing about any problem up the river. As the time passed Stevie relaxed a bit. Couldn’t have been anything. Gradually he thought less and less about it and gradually he relaxed and continued his daily life.

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