The One That Got Away (reader participation, pt 3)

The One That Got Away

Alex sat in the small boat and ate a sandwich while reminiscing about all the fishing stories his family handed down through the years. This had been the family’s spot for at last six generations. He loved it. If it wasn’t stories about a haunted cabin, giant fish, and a ghost bear that supposedly appeared before someone died, it was stories about all the kids conceived in tents. Yeah, his family was like that.

It was a perfect day for fishing…or laying in a boat pretending to fish. Leslie and the kids were back at the cabin. She didn’t enjoy nature like he did, and unfortunately the kids took after her. He wondered if he would be the last one to know the joy of spending hours in silence out on the water waiting for a bite.

His rod bent and the reel spun as something took his bait. It was a fierce fight, but Alex managed after some time and dragging of the boat to reel it to the surface. What bobbed just below the surface was not like any fish he had ever seen.

It had smooth, shiny skin that reflected off the sun. The longer Alex looked at it, the more intrigued he became. His grandfather used to tell stories of aliens landing in the woods close to here and pouring something in the water. The lake turned bright colors for an entire week. Although Alex’s father usually followed that story with one about all the natural pot that grew in the woods. No one believed his grandfather at the time, but now he wasn’t so sure.

He reeled the fish in more and stared into the water at it. His grandfather’s voice screamed in his head, “catch it!” Alex hoisted the fish out of the water and into his boat.

“HOLY SHIT!” Alex cowered at the other end of the boat as the fish flailed and gasped for air as it died. When it no longer moved, he poked the gelatinous body with his rod and stared at the fish’s fangs that protruded over human looking lips. Was his grandfather right?

Bubbles rose from below his boat and surrounded him. Suddenly he was encircled by enormous metal teeth that rose from the depths. The sunlight reflecting off jagged edges cast shimmering rainbows across his boat. Before he could think of anything to do, the teeth slammed shut and the water beneath his boat slowly receded. All he could do was sit and wait, and wish there was a bathroom around because he really needed to use one.

The water elevator grew dark as he descended until finally the boat hit something solid. Water droplets echoed beneath him as the water dripped down a grate. A small door opened, engulfing him in a golden glow.

“Well, it’s about time.” Laughter filled the chamber and resonated in Alex’s ears.

Even though he was terrified and trembling, something about that voice and laughter sounded familiar. “Grandpa?”

Abraham chuckled and sighed. “It sure is nice to see you again, boy.” He reached out and helped Alex out of the boat. “Sorry about that trip, but it’s the only way down.”

“Down? Down where?” Alex let himself be led through the metal door and down a long hallway. Scraping metal startled him and when he turned around, the elevator was gone. After his eyes adjusted to the bright lights that seemed to emanate from the walls themselves as they walked, he stopped and looked at his grandfather. He hadn’t aged a day since he last saw him. That wasn’t possible. None of this was possible. “Am…am I dead?”

Abraham laughed and clapped Alex on the shoulder. “I asked that very question on my first day.” He pushed Alex further down the hallway and as he pushed open a large white door, he said, “No boy, this is ____________”

Where are they? Tell me in the comments?


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