Tuesday, May 26, 2009


A story from One Story.
"Eraser" by Ben Stroud
I lift up the lid of the livewell and look inside. A couple fish—bass, largemouth—sit in place, not really swimming.
"What's up, fish?" I say.
The fish open their mouths and close them, which is about all they do. You can't tell by looking at them, but they're poisoned—like, if you eat too many, you go blind, or crazy, or you become sterile or someshit. They've got signs at the pier and boat ramp, no more than two fish a week. It's their revenge, I guess, even though it's really the big power plant that sits on the side of the lake that does it.
"Fish don't need hassling," my stepfather says to no one, meaning me.
I close the lid.
Usually, whenever my stepfather wants to tell me something, he'll make some general comment or filter what he's got to say through my mom instead of just talk to me. Not that I'm complaining.
I go sit behind the steering wheel and look at the screen mounted there. It shows how deep the lake is below the boat, and the size of any fish passing below. I wonder if it would show a dead body, if there's a picture programmed in it for that. See, son, a dad'll say, tapping on the screen, that's a child. We only need the small net.

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