It Happened At The River's Edge









Ezra Azra

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© Copyright 2023 by Ezra Azra
Photo by luke schlotthauer on Unsplash
Photo by luke schlotthauer on Unsplash

Mom, the job interview is running late because there was a traffic accident. One of the interviewers arrived late. I will not be able to leave here for the next two hours.

All right, Yvonne. You will take another hour before you arrive here at home. It will take me two hours to get to our cabin on the Woodpecker Estate. I will be leaving here shortly. Do not come here, Yvonne. Head for the cabin cottage. We will arrive there almost at the same time. Besides, the forecast is for bad weather this evening. By my plan, we could get in some river line fishing before the bad weather sets in.

Mom, go get in some fishing. Do not wait for me. I will be too tired to wade into the river when I get there. Also, Mom, keep in mind, now, crime statistics are going up-and-up. Wear your super-hero top smock. I am wearing mine, even as we speak.

Will do, dear. Always. You know me. I never leave home without wearing mine.

Mom and daughter hung up. Within minutes, Mom was in her car, her expensive newly purchased line-fishing gear packed in the trunk. She headed out for her Woodpecker Estate cabin cottage.

She could not help regretting that there was a seventy percent probability her home would be broken into by criminals before she returned in a few days.

That seventy percent was the latest official police estimate posted on the Cityís crime statistics website. Nothing she could do about that reality.

The somewhat bright spot in that depressing seventy percent knowledge was that, by her conscientiously deliberate planning, there was nothing of value in her home for thieves to steal.

And, hopefully, the many alarms built in all over the home, would discourage felons from staying long enough to damage things.

If those home invaders chose to linger to explore, she had made sure that they would not live long enough to be surprised at the welcome she had rigged for them.

The best part was she had set it up to appear as if the felons were completely responsible, so that she would be compensated by her home insurance coverage, and then some.

It had gone smoothly in that other home she had in that other City. She felt no qualms of conscience about making a financial killing by outwitting home invading criminals into killing themselves.

Nonetheless, she was extra careful to go with a different home insurance company, this time.

And, on the other more important hand, it was not her fault that the increase in crime throughout the Country, was out of control. She was just an ordinary citizen coping with and benefitting from the sorry National state of affairs. Nothing unrighteous in outwitting Insurance Companies; could even be a law-abiding citizen's right and democratic opportunity.

Her cabin on the Woodpecker Estate, approximately two-hundred miles away, was one hundred percent safe. Patrolled by security, several times day and night; the main reason she had purchased the cabin.

The other reason was the river; deep and narrow and fast-flowing; and no fish; and so, no fishing.

No fish and no fishing allowed, was why Mom took up pretence fly-fishing. She was not the type that took pleasure in killing harmless animals for fun. Or to eat.

Especially fish; of all species of animals, the most exquisitely designed in aesthetic lines and movements. A pinnacle of beauty designed. Astoundingly puzzling, by mindless, relentless, utterly directionless, and most of the time evil, biological evolution.

She had phoned Woodpecker Estate security. The officers were there to welcome her on arrival.

She lost no time preparing to go down to the river. She phoned Yvonne.

Hey, dear.

Mom.

I am here in the cabin.

I am on the road, Mom. I will be there no later than about two hours. Long before the storm arrives.

Good.

Walking the few hundred yards along the stone pathway to the stone steps down to the river, was refreshing, in the blazing sun and gentle breeze.

It was slightly bewildering to remember that all this perfect fishing weather would turn so miserable, come the evening.

Waist-deep in the river, she was enjoying her pretence fly fishing. A voice behind her on the shore called out to her.

Hey, there, nice lady, in that super-hero top smock.

She turned a little to look.

Three heavily dressed persons wearing hats with brims wide enough to make facial identification difficult. One was sitting on the ground; the other two were grinning and looking at her.

How is the fishing?

Great fun.

Yeah, you look like you're having fun. Especially in that sexy super-hero top smock.

I am not an expert. It's all in the gear. Fiber glass rod. Top of the line. No arm fatigue. Fast recovering tip that eliminates over oscillation, so that the rod's casting energy goes straight into the line without wobble.

All the while she was rambling, she wondered if they were aware that there were no fish in that river.

Good for you, nice lady. You sound like a commercial.

A super sexy commercial.

So? You fine gentlefolk here to do some fishing?

Absolutely. If we can borrow some of that wonderful tackle of yours.

You're most welcome to the tackle, but there isn't any fish in this river. Did you know that?

You have to be kidding, nice lady.

No, kind sir. Not kidding. I do it just for fun exercise.

Good for you, nice lady. We will skip the fishing option, then, and proceed to our first and original purpose. You give us the key to your cabin; two of us will go help ourselves, and return here to return your key; and be on our way, and leave you to your fun empty fishing exercise. How does that sound?

Sounds like a good offer, most kind sir. My key and my wrist watch are in the cloth bag you see hooked on that branch. Help yourself while I go back to having my fun.

The three looked up where nice lady Mom had indicated. Sure enough, there was a white cloth bag hooked on a branch.

How did you get it up there?

Used my rod.

Then lend us the rod.

Not a problem. But it's going to take a while because I have to reel in the line.

Just cut it, lady.

Not possible. Tempered steel first grade. Top of the line. No tool available can cut it. Manual or electric. Come, now. The branch isn't that high. Two of you can lift the other one.

They proceeded to follow Mom's suggestion. The many layers of their heavy clothing, and the extra-wide brimmed hats, reduced their efforts to clumsy trial-and-error failings.

The three were so engrossed in capturing the cloth bag hooked to a low branch, they did not notice Mom slowly ditching the fishing rod into the water, and reaching under her fishing jacket to access her super-hero top smock; and wading towards them.

A few minutes later, Mom was back in the cabin, making tea, expecting Yvonne any minute. Yvonne arrived. They were at the table, having tea and snacks when Woodpecker Estate security phoned there would be an officer arriving soon.

They met the officer in the driveway, both of them wearing their colour-co-ordinated super-hero top smocks. The sun was still fully ablaze. The wind was picking up.

The officer spoke in a friendly tone.

Ladies, we are checking all cabins. Some persons reported hearing sounds that could have been gunshots an hour-or-so ago. Did you hear anything?

Sorry, officer. Yvonne arrived here about thirty minutes ago. She's my daughter. Before that, I was down fly fishing in the river. Had I heard anything like gunshots, I probably would have dismissed them as a woodpecker doing its woodpecker thing.

Yep. Lots of woodpeckers around here. Maíam, are you aware there are no fish in the river?

Really? Since when?

Since forever. Since from before there were any cabins here.

That explains why I have never caught any fish every time Iíve fly fished in the river. Is that mentioned in the Companyís brochure? No fish in the river? I am almost certain I bought a cabin especially for the fishing.

Officer, I donít fish. So, I will leave you and Mom to talk fishing.

Good enough.

Mom, smiled the officer, we will have to postpone the discussion. Storm's coming.




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