Reel Magic

May 11, 2010
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A black shadow had been draped tenderly over parts of the Earth, yet in one sleepy town the sky still resembled a collage of watercolors as the sun slowly disappeared from the horizon. Off a tiny dock on the lake, three friends were preparing to commence the start of their summer with a boat ride.
“This is your boat! Why aren’t you contributing any strength?” Larissa questioned as she glanced over at Richard’s scrawny legs dangling over the pier.
“I am the supervisor here – I would not question my strength if I were you,” Richard retorted.
On the opposite end of the tiny motorboat, David rolled his eyes at Larissa as they both struggled to heave the boat over the edge of the dock. With a weak splash, the boat entered the crystal clear water with Richard sitting comfortably next to the motor, his reflection rippling slowly in the waves. Larissa managed to hop in next without tipping the boat. Just as David was about to join them, an enormous cloud of dust emerged from the motor, consuming his entire face.
“Richard! Trying to leave without me, huh?” David quickly batted away the dust and gave the boat a shove before jumping in himself. With a boisterous cough he asked, “is there anything to drink on this canoe before my lungs dissolve?”
“Call this a canoe one more time and you can drink the lake water,” Richard shot David a dirty look.
“Just get me something to drink!” David yelped as he pounded his chest.
At that moment, a glass bottle rolled over Larissa’s barefoot. “Oh! Remember these? We used to down a dozen of them in one night,” Larissa recalled as she picked up the drink.
“Awesome, my mom must have known we’d get thirsty tonight and bought a new case,” Richard said, grabbing another one.
“Give me one!” David leapt from across the boat, already guzzling down the entire drink before standing up again.
Larissa and Richard laughed as they too finished off the fruity beverage. David started to reach for another bottle until he was interrupted by a loud groan from Larissa.
“Ugh! Ick!” Larissa was bent at the waist, hanging over the side of the boat. “Either I’m seasick or those drinks taste like they’ve been here since third grade.”
Richard and David both searched for an expiration date only to find that Larissa was definitely not queasy from the miniscule waves beneath them.
“Uh, does that say 2001?” Richard whispered quietly to David, attempting to block out Larissa.
“Richard, are you kidding me?” she shrieked. “Get me off this stupid raft!”
Looking up at the lavender sky, Richard bellowed, “This is not a raft! Just sit down right there and don’t get sick anywhere on Reel Magic, ok?”
“Whoa, yeah . . . I just realized 2001 one is almost ten years ago and my stomach does not like the sound of that,” David said as he began to sway back and forth, wrapping his arms around his waist.
“Not you, too -” Richard started to bark at his friends until he too was hit with a wave of nausea. “Nevermind. David, you can control the motor, I’m done for the night.”
“Think again,” David chuckled as he whipped out his Iphone, “I’m going to check if a decade old smoothie has been known to cause death. I refuse to die at sea if it’s not because of some ridiculous natural disaster or an invasion of pirates.”
“We’re on the smallest lake known to man, not the sea. And please find a remedy quick before I jump overboard,” Larissa pleaded.
“Ok, seeing as though we are now a great distance from the shore, how about I tell us the old tale about the Dusk Painters to get our minds off things?” Richard suggested, leaning weakly over the edge.
“No one wants to hear some made up nonsense about creepy little people painting the sky with, like, pieces of grass,” David mumbled as he scrolled madly down a list of links for food poisoning.
“They actually used feathers, but nice try David,” Richard snapped as he turned to Larissa who seemed interested in the story. “You see, shortly after our founding fathers settled here, rumors started going around that tiny winged-people smaller than butterflies were decorating the night sky. They used anything from ground-up hydrangea bushes to honey from bee hives, all mixed with some special fairy substance, of course. It seems silly, but on several occasions large drops of the so-called paint would fall mysteriously from the sky right onto - ”
“My Iphone! Gross!”
Richard and Larissa spun around to find David’s precious piece of technology being devoured by a luminous, dazzling goo of teal.
“What is this gunk? I don’t know how you got that to fling all the way from where you are, but next time don’t aim for the Iphone,” David exclaimed as he ferociously wiped the goo from his phone.
“No . . . way!” Richard jumped up, swaying the boat dramatically. “It’s true! What perfect timing, too! Oh, man. There must be some fairies over us now - ”
“Richard, if you’re going to waste time pulling dumb pranks on us, just turn us around so I can go home and be sick in my own bed.”
“Larissa, this isn’t a joke. You were watching me the whole time. How could I have pulled out some magical paint and chucked it at David without you noticing?”
Larissa thought for a moment. “You’re right. You do have sticks for arms after all.”
“Really, Larissa?” David asked.
“I don’t know, I’ll believe anything at this point. Maybe that ten year old drink is messing with our heads,” Larissa proposed as she stood up to look at the Iphone.
“No, it’s the Dusk Painters! Look at the phone, it’s covered in mini stars or something,” Richard pointed excitedly at David’s glowing right hand.
“Ok, I must have clicked on a new ap or something. My mind wasn’t functioning properly with the century old drink melting my brain and all,” David stated, dropping the phone as if it were on fire.
“Enough with the drink excuses,” Richard moaned. “This story is real and I want a picture to prove it.”
Richard reached for the Iphone on which the miniature twinkling stars had faded. He looked around frantically for the large drop of paint that David had flicked off the phone just moments ago.
“No! You have got to be kidding me!” Richard hobbled over the two benches in the center of the boat almost propelling himself into the water, dunking in his hand as if he could grasp the shimmering paint that was not there.
“Alright, buddy,” David said pulling Richard upright. “A tad overkill, don’t you think? Let’s get this thing turned around.”
David fidgeted with the motor for quite some time before getting it in the right direction, emitting a few more dust clouds into the air. Larissa sat silently on the middle benches, watching the night sky change colors. Richard was slumped over the front end of the boat, his fingers skidding over the now black water, mumbling to himself about how he knew that was real paint from the Dusk Painters.
Eventually, the three friends reached the shore of their sleepy town, very sleepy themselves. Larissa and David tied the boat to the dock while Richard was still slumped over the edge. The two on the dock exchanged a quick glance before going to pull Richard away from the boat. As Larissa reached for Richard, she noticed the orange, purple, and teal streaks in the plum colored sky that had started out as a collage of watercolors when they set sail. Then, just as she and David grabbed Richard’s hands, a feather covered in orange, purple, and teal sparkles fell delicately onto the tip of the boat, spilling over the words Reel Magic.

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