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Pirate Lanford

A Day Like a Dream

The Art of Things by Gerard Cadevall Daniel

You called and said we should go fishing.

I said damn right – I’ll pick you up.

We went to a place where no one goes because getting there is too much trouble. The breeze was just enough to ripple the surface. It was neither cool nor warm. Big puffy clouds filled a blue sky. Redwings sang in the cattails and great blue herons croaked and took flight when we got too close. Cows mooed in belly-high grass. The fishing was as perfect as that.

Until we saw the periscope. There was a submarine in the lake, and they were watching us. When we moved, it moved, and it followed us everywhere we went. I looked up to watch an osprey fly over, and that’s when I spotted the drone. It was circling high above, and it, too, was watching us.

We flipped a finger at them and told them if they were listening, they could fuck off. We went back to fishing. They wouldn’t bomb us for fishing, would they? No, screaming madmen would come crashing through the door in the middle of the night, guns drawn, hoping for a kill.

We were soon answered, first by the hump of water pushed up by a torpedo, and then by the whine of a falling bomb. I started the motor and damn near flipped you out of the boat when I gunned it.

They missed us and hit the dam instead, blowing a gaping hole all the way to the bottom. With mud and water raining down on us, I did my best to get us to the ramp before the lake was drained, but it was no use. We ran aground. A catfish told us there were safer places to fish.

The lake was gone. Thousands of fish were flopping in the mud. The osprey laughed and said, “Oh, look at all these fish we have. Come help me gather them up.” The mud dried and began to crack. Skeletons littered the bed.

Grasses and flowers began to grow, and still we sat. That’s the way, when the bombing stops.

We didn’t talk. Wasn’t anything to say. Just sit and watch the world. The drone had disappeared, and the sub was washed away with the lake. Being there was enough. It would have been good even without the fish, but how were we going to explain it?

“How was your day, dear?”

“Oh, pretty good.”

“Did you hear the news? Some terrorists blew up a dam today.”

When I dropped you off, I said it was good to see you. We should do it again. You nodded, turned around and faded away. I called out, “Your friends are here,” but if you heard, you didn’t answer. I went to the door, but it was locked.

Your disappearance is still a mystery.

Up ahead the lights are fading, and some have gone out. The new ones are behind us, shining laughter, going ever faster. My shadow is long and thin. They can’t hear me. They don’t know where they’ve been, and they don’t care what lies ahead, but the road is straight and smooth, and the lights are green all the way to the end. Faster…faster.

Ah, the end. I have it in my sights. No one can stop them now.


About the Writer:
Pirate Lanford holds a B.S. in Biology (UTA) and an MBA (SMU), is a Mensan, a 2nd Dan Tae Kwon Do Black Belt, the Owner/Manager of Karawala Tarpon Camp (Nicaragua), The Lanford Corporation (USA), an Outdoor Writer and Photographer, a Novelist and Short Story Author, and a member of PEN America.

Image: The Art of Things by Gerard Cadevall Daniel (contemporary). Fine art photograph. No technical information specified. 2013. By permission.

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