Hurricane Blackfish

December 21, 2008
By Anonymous

On a small island off of the coast of Louisiana a gunshot went off. The blackfish tournament had begun. Blackfish fishing was the most popular type of fishing on Hackisack Island and the mainland around it. Some people rented houses on the island and others parked their boats in the marina just to be in the tournament. this year was supposed to be excellent.
“Plop!” Craig€™s lure hit the water. The jig was about the size of a man’s big toe, silver on the bottom and a dull yellow on top. The head of it was the size of a pencil eraser with a miniature led plate coming out of where the mouth would be. That made it go down where the fish would be. And they too were silver to attract fish.

Slowly, Craig pulled in his lure. Then something hit. The twelve-year-old fought it in anxiously to find that it was only six pounds. It was a nice size but Craig knew two important things about that fish. One, that it wouldn’t rank in the tournament as his one fish, two, he knew that there were bigger fish out there. So it wouldn’t do much use to kill one of a regular size.

The island was shaped like a bubble letter C. So, Blackfish would come into the gulf to feed on baitfish that sharks couldn’t get to. This year the tournament was early to avoid hurricane Ike, which was supposed to be the worst hurricane of 2008. Hopefully for Craig, his parents would be back from their trip in spain.

“Wizzzzzz!” This time when a fish took the lure it ran and was big enough to pull line from Craig’s rod. He was reeling when the fish rested and giving him slack when he ran. After fifteen minutes he had pulled the monster Blackfish onto the dock.

“Hey, Chad get over here with that scale.” Called Craig. Chad was the owner of the marina who organized the tournament.

“You know that the scale is nailed into the table of the weigh-in-center!” Chad hollered back.

So, he lugged the fish up to the weigh-in-center and put it on the scale. Although the Blackfish was a bull, Craig and Chad were both shocked. Twelve pounds on the dot!

“You son of a gun! You actually broke my record. I thought eleven pounds twelve ounces would stick forever!”

“Well, did you really? Why don’t you help me out by calling the local press.”

“Why, arms too tired?”

“No! I’m planning how I’ll pose with my fish for the front page of the newspaper.”

It took all of a few minutes for a journalist, photographer, cameraman, and reporter to get there in their ugly van. No time was wasted to get a picture of Craig with his fish that broke the Island record. The journalist and reporter alternated asking questions. None were meaningful until the journalist asked him for one word to describe himself. Craig said “unstoppable.”
In the tournament no one came close to the new record. Second place was nine pounds ten ounces. That night on the news channel, the top story was the tournament, which, Craig won. The next day, Craig made front page of the newspaper and got the fish taxidermied for free.
By Monday when school started, everyone knew about Craig€™s incredible accomplishment. Most kids and Craig’s friends were crowding him and congratulating him. Others were pretending that it wasn’t anything big or pretending to hate him. Then thinking about it and discussing it they grew to really hate Craig because they were jealous.

By the end of school, Craig wanted to fish more. Knowing that his mom would call around 4:00 to see if he was okay, Craig decided to do his homework first. He had his homework done and was down to the marina by five. To his surprise no one was throwing his or her lines into the water. Not a single car was in the lot. When Craig finally reached the dock, he realized why no one was there. The water was colored a deep red. It was a red tide. A red tide was when there was an overgrowth of bacteria, which killed anything to ingest the water. Fish were belly up dead. Thankfully, the Blackfish majority had left to go north. Still some were left in the water, which was getting rougher with every passing minute.
Craig knew what it meant. The clouds and waves meant that hurricane Ike was coming soon. Oh well, like Craig says himself, he is unstoppable. None the less, he went home, had dinner and went to bed.
“Boom! Boom! Boom!” The wind slammed fallen branches into the walls. Half asleep, Craig thought that someone was at the door.
“Go away! I’m sleeping!”
Soon enough, the sound of a smashing window woke him up. The sudden scream of terror was like a bomb going off. Knowing what to do in a hurricane, he went down into the basement. But, the floor was wet.
“Oh no!” thought Craig. “Would the basement flood? What would he do if it did?” All of these thoughts flowed through the boy’s mind. Just then, the palm tree in the front yard was blown down. It came crashing through the roof with a bang. Still, water seeped into the basement. By now, Craig estimated that there was at least an inch of water. Minutes later he had to leave the basement because the water was getting deeper and dirty. Oddly, the doorbell rang on Craig’s way up the stairs. At the door were Matt and his father. Matt was Craig’s best friend, classmate, neighbor, and fellow fisherman. They were the only two people on the island who knew that Craig was alone.
“We came to help you out, buddy!” Matt announced over the roar of the wind.
“Thanks a bunch!” Craig hollered back over the wind.
“Now let’s go!” Mr. Smith said to finish the conversation.
When the three got back to the Smith residence and got their wet clothes off Matt’s mom made multiple cups of hot chocolate in the basement. When all were finished they went to sleep in sleeping bags in the basement.
In the morning, after the storm, the damage to both houses was inspected. The Smiths’ only received a broken window. However, Craig’s house suffered more than just a broken window. The basement held two feet of muddy water, the walls both inside and out were scraped up, the palm tree that stood in the front yard now laid half inside and half outside the house. Because of the gaping hole in the wall and roof, rainwater had covered the floor around it. And, like the Smiths, a window had broken.
Then, Craig had to call his parents and tell them of the damage. Instead of reacting in an upset manor, they apologized over and over. They then ordered him to spend his last night alone at Matt’s house, which he was going to do anyway.
Then Craig went to hang with Matt. They were talking when this breakthrough occurred.
“So, Craig are you okay?”
“Yeah, a bit shaken up but nothing big.”
“You, Craig were shaken up?”
“You would be too if you were in my shoes.” He was irritated as to where this conversation was headed.
“That is true.” Matt commented. “But I’m not unstoppable.”
“Neither am I-” then he remembered how foolish it was to say that he was unstoppable. “Okay, I admit it, no one is unstoppable. Even me.”

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