Something Fishy in Gill-Man Lake

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Don't know what this is, FF, humor, action, ??? --- Ah a fishy short story with a monster, and a twist!

There is a gas station & mini-market on the State Highway, it is known as "Last Chance Gas" because it is eighty-something miles, or about 130 kilometers, to the next rest stop; I'm talking 130 miles, either way.

The gas station sits at the crossroads of "Summit Highway" and highway marker #44.

And marker #44 sits right at the edge of an old Logger's Road that winds into the farthest reaches of "The Shadow Mountains;" a State Forest and Wildlife Preserve.


There are a few families and individuals that still live back in the hills, and they are direct descendants of those people that settled in these hills several generations ago.

There is a lake, too, it was first found and named by Wilfred Griever, the Great, Great, Great, Great, Great, Great, Great, Great, Grandfather of Buck Griever, the current resident of the Griever Homestead.

The name of the lake came from an encounter that Wilfred Griever supposedly had with a Gill-ed Creature.

The story he told was that the Creature, and it's family, lived in caverns that are located somewhere below the lake's surface.

How old man Griever knew so much about this family of aquatic creatures, well, that was anyone's guess.


As a boy, Buck had three sisters and no brothers. And until he started school, it was either play with the girls or find some critter to adopt; Buck spent a lot of time with critters, mainly squirrels and the occasional Raccoon. Oh, and there was a Mountain Jay-bird Buck found and raised; he named him Fred.

Even after school started for Buck, he lived so far from his nearest school friends that it was nearly impossible to build any lasting relationships.

High school was better. After Buck bough his first vehicle and could get around on his own, friendship abounded; especially with girls.

But those years were short lived, Buck wanted to see the world beyond the mountains, so he joined the U.S. Marine Corp.

Yep, right after the summer, after High School graduation, Buck signed up and he spent twenty-two years serving his country.

Then he worked his way back towards his mountain home, eventually driving logging trucks in his own back yard.

Buck would have continued working if not for the death of the logging industry, after all, he was still lean and mean, and as spry as a chicken. But the logging industry died out about the time his 66th birthday rolled around; so he retired and started drawing his pension.


Buck's family was long gone, with married sisters living elsewhere and his parents passed on, Buck was all alone up there in the cabin.

Buck liked to fish at the North-end of Gill-Man Lake, that area nearest to his family's mountain cabin. And from what Buck remembered, the lake was always full of easy to ketch fish.

Buck remembered his boyhood days as full of all sorts of critter friends, fishing with his Pah, and the feeling of belonging.

Only a dozen or so people even know that there is a lake hidden in the woods, and none of them would shared the secret with anyone, anyway. It is their lake and their fish, and that's the way they like it.

So a surprise awaited Buck when, on one sunny Sunday, Buck went down to the lake to catch some fish for his dinner.

Spring was rolling out it's carpet of wonders and the once frozen lake was ready for harvest.

But after four hours, not one fish was in Buck's fish-bucket, not even a Catfish.

And it was about then that Buck noticed a boat out in the center of the lake, a rowboat to be exact. The boat must have been there before Buck arrived at the lake-shore, because Buck would have heard the sound of ores on the water. It might have been hidden by the early morning lake's fog. Who knows?

The man in the boat was just sitting with a blanket around him and a fishing rod in his hand; he looked to be gazing out on the water while listening to a radio.

Buck said to himself, "I doubt that I'll catch any fish with all the noise going on out there. Don't people know that listening to radios while fishing can frighten the fish away?"

So Buck set about gathering his gear and started to leave when he heard a noise coming from the direction of the boat. The boat-man was hitting the surface of the water with an ore!

Buck watched as the boat-man thrashed at the water, almost as if he was being attacked by something just below the surface. Then the boat-man would sit back down and take up his fishing pole.

"Maybe Gill-Man likes that guys music. But for the sake of fishing I hope Gill-Man frightens the man away, or eats him, either would do." Buck stated as he chuckled to himself.

At that moment, the boat-man stood up again, and again, he began hitting the water with the ore.

Over and over, again, the boat-man sat for awhile, then he would start hitting the surface of the water, as if he was trying to kill a fish with the ore.

That's when Buck stated, "Boy, some people are born fish-stupid, that idiot and his thrashing has got to stop. I'm gonna go out there and give that guy a piece of my mind! I sat here all morning and didn't catch a thing, all because of him, the radio, and that dammed ore. The man has no sense!"

So Buck got in his dingy and rowed out to where the boat-man was anchored. And when Buck arrived he noticed that the boat-man had just stopped hitting the water with the ore.

"What in Sam's Hill are you doing?" Buck shouted.

The boat-man said nothing, in fact, he ignored Buck.

"Hay, I'm talking to you! You are causing a fish problem on this lake and I don't like it one little bit! This lake would be a sight better off if people like you didn't come out here at all."

The Boat-man turned towards Buck and replied, "Oh, I wasn't fishing for fish, Buck-ah-Ru, I was fishing for you!"

And with that said, Gill-Man cast off the blanket from his back and jumped from boat to boat, knocking Buck into the water and dragging him under the water in no time at all.

But do not fret, Buck's thrashing and gasping didn't last long.


No, it wasn't long after the thrashing stopped, Buck dragged himself out of the lake and back into his boat.

And after catching his breath, Buck said to Gill-Man, "You had me fooled that time, Gill-ie, I never suspected it was you in that dammed boat." Then Buck laughed and Gill-Man made some joyful bubbling sounds.

Isn't it great how some childhood friendships last a lifetime?



D. Thurmond / JEF



Submitted: January 24, 2021

© Copyright 2021 D. Thurmond aka JEF. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:


Joe Stuart

Hah! Okay, you got me with that one, JE.

Mon, January 25th, 2021 9:39pm


Thanks Joe. --- I have grown so tired of the same old "Monster eats everybody" stories. Lasting friendships are better.

Mon, January 25th, 2021 1:44pm

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