Temerarious Tabias: Fishing on Charlie Lake

“Dad brought the boat, Mom brought the sandwiches, and I brought the chips.”

Tabias explained all this to Sister, her face red and steaming. No one had been talking, and the tension on the boat had grown once the mistake had been realized — Sister had left their only drinks on the counter at home.

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The boat hardly moved in the calm Charlie Lake water. The sun beat down on them, hot. Father fished and Step Mother read. Sister complained she was thirsty.

“Then you should have brought the pop!” Tabias exclaimed, his fox tail twitching with irritation. He was thirsty as well and he had already dipped his bear hat in the lake several times to cool down.

“Someone forgot it,” Sister went on, crying and whining. Step Mother was ignoring the fight, holding her Stephen King book higher.

“It was you!”

He snapped. Bringing the argument to an end, Father whipped his fishing rod over the boat, dropping water on both kids.

Tabias laughed, Sister cried louder, but it was Step Mother who stood up.

Her book, dripping wet, crumbled in her hand. The cover floated off and fell to the surface of the water. Everyone watched in silent horror. The ripples slowly dissipated into the smooth surface of the lake.

A shadow appeared beneath the book cover. It grew in size before smashing free of the water’s surface.

The giant fish turned the calm lake into a water tornado. The jackfish was a monster, his forehead an angry brow, his tail a sharp knife, and the silver of his scales shone brighter than the sun in that moment.

“Woah,” Father exhaled.

“Get him,” whispered Step Mother.

“Sushi!” exclaimed Tabias.

“I didn’t forget the pop,” Sister stammered.

Father dropped the line back in the water, the fish bolted to the east and Step Mother jumped to action. Cranking the engine back into full gear, the race was on.

Everyone forgot their thirst and pursued the monstrous fish. For an hour and a half, the family didn’t fight with each other. They fought with the largest pike they had ever seen.

Step Mother drove the boat, keeping Father’s line tight on the fish. Tabias had the net ready, and Sister even held the fish club. The fight was magnificent, the fish was majestic, and the feast they had that evening was miraculous — even without the missing pop.

Norma Rrae is an author based in Fort St. John. Read more of her works at notmewriting.com

© Copyright Alaska Highway News


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