Ben came running downstream along the rocky shore, hollering his fool head off, “You got him, you finally got him,” as I eased the massive old Brookie into the shallows.
For five years, I and every trophy-hunting trout fisherman within 250 miles cast just about every color and variety–hell, even flavor–of lure out over the riffles in this northern Quebec creek, attempting to catch the legendary trout the locals called Le Fantôme.
I’d hooked this guy three times over the years, and his strength and guile had prevailed over my experience and equipment—he’d become my annual obsession.
I drew him up on shore, hefting him by the gills and figured he must go ten pounds if he was an ounce and beheld his scar-covered body, a couple of hooks in his lips and a hazy left eye, which drew from Ben a whistle and a “Christ, what a freaky mess this beast is.”
I pulled the hooks from Le Fantôme’s lips, ran my hand along his battle-weary flank, recognized Time had caught him before I ever could, slid him back into his domain, and said, “No, that old boy, he’s a thing of freaking beauty.”
A Five Sentence Fiction piece based on Lillie McFerrin’s prompt word: Fiction.