stories

The Fish - page 6

No way! the wife said, practically shouting. What if you fall over, what will happen to me? I'll fall in, that's what!
So what do you suggest?
The husband and wife were both at a loss for what to do. The boy stood staring at them, aghast.
We'd better get across now, the husband said gently. See? The water is rising.
I see that, the wife said in an irritated tone. She yelled over to her son, Go back to the hotel and bring somebody!
They'll laugh at us, the husband said with a half-smile.
Do what? The child frowned and hunched his shoulders, curling his body up into a corkscrew shape.
Go! the mother said.
Yeah, go, his father added. Go get somebody. Anybody.
All right, all right. The child started for the grove.
Hurry up!
Okay.
The child disappeared among the trees.
The couple stood next to each other on the sandbar, staring off into the gloom of the little stand of trees that had swallowed up the boy. There wasn't much they could do but wait. The sandbar had shrunk to the size of a rowboat now, and the water looked like it was still rising. The current got faster and the water blacker. But there was still some time left till sundown. Maybe the water was darker because larger fish had gathered now into shoals, and so the line of their dark blue-black backs was longer. Indeed, the fish that leapt out every so often, whizzing past their feet, were about thirty centimeters. Even at a glance, there was something brutal about their heads that gave the wife a chill.
Something white flashed through the waves washing against the opposite bank, shooting downriver like a ray of light.
My shoes got washed away, the husband turned another half-smile on his wife as if to suggest that it were her fault.
The wife was quiet. She turned pale and was fiercely biting her lower lip.
Right. Well, the husband continued awkwardly, I guess we should work some more on getting across, and not just sit here waiting.