Con Verse Lea; Chapter 46, Takano 71

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Stories from the Verse
Con Verse Lea
Chapter 46:  Takano 71
Table of Contents
Previous chapter:  Beam 139

As they reached the lakeshore, Lauren began giving instructions.

“Alright, I’m going to wade out to about waist deep.  I want you all to follow me, but to stay about six--stay about as far from me as you are tall.”

“Does that mean you want the shorter people closer?” someone asked.

“Sure, why not?” Lauren answered.  “I want you all to be able to see, but I need space around me for this to work.  Once we’re out there, no talking, and you will have to stand perfectly still.  So I don’t have to explain when we’re out there, let me briefly do so now.  Fish are curious, and if I stand perfectly still some should swim over to see what I am.  I’m going to wait for a particularly large one, and then I’m going to thrust,” and she brought her hand with the arrow down swiftly, “the point of the arrow through the body of the largest fish I can hit.  Hopefully I’ll skewer one on the first shot, because the rest will certainly scatter.  I don’t always succeed on the first try, so if I miss I’ll try again; once I’ve got one, we’ll come back to shore and finish the lesson.  Any questions before we begin?”

One of the men responded, “Should we try to do what you’re doing?”

“I think not,” she said.  “For one thing, we’ll be too close together; for another, you’ll scare my fish.  You’ll get your turn, but what I want you to do is stand as still and quiet as possible and watch closely.  Anything else?”

There were no other questions, so as Lauren waded out into the lake Tommy joined the six leaders.  Since she was shorter than Lauren, she stood closer to the shore, but positioned herself where she could see clearly.  She might need to be able to do this in another world someday; indeed, it would be helpful if she could do it today.

As everyone settled into position, one of the women cleared her throat; Lauren glared at her, but then returned her focus to the water.  She stood perfectly still; Tommy wondered if she was breathing.

Suddenly she struck, and with a quick twist drew a fish out of the water which Tommy thought must be well over a foot long.  She scrutinized it, then smiled, and started wading toward shore.

“O.K., everyone, you’ve seen how it’s done.  It’s tougher than it looks, but the six of you need to bring back enough fish to feed our multitude--I’m guessing not less than thirty if they’re big, maybe as many as fifty if they’re not so big.  One trick:  if you wind up with a small one, rip it apart and throw the pieces in the water around you.  Big fish eat little fish, and the chum will attract more fish to you.  But the secret to this is patience.  Also, you’ll want to stack your catch on the shore, but have someone keep an eye on it, because everything from bears to birds are likely to try to take them from you.”

“What are bears?” said a voice; “what are birds?” said another.

Yes, that was to be expected.  Tommy decided to answer.

“Bears are large furry beasts, probably the biggest animal living around here if there are any, and if a bear goes after your fish you should probably just get out of its way and hope it leaves some for you.  Birds are trickier.  They fly in the sky,” and she pointed up, “and can swoop down, snatch a fish, and fly away with it before you can react.  On the other hand, if you’ve got your arrow, you can probably stab a bird and clean and cook that, like we did with the turkeys a couple days ago.  Turkeys are birds, but they don’t fly much, I think.”

Lauren nodded.  “Tommy,” she said, “I’m going to go start cooking this one.  You can join me, but you probably should see if you can spear one fish yourself just so you’ve done it once.  Catch up when you’re ready.

Next chapter:  Chapter 47:  Beam 140
Table of Contents

There is a behind-the-writings look at the thoughts, influences, and ideas of this chapter, along with twenty other sequential chapters of this novel, in mark Joseph "young" web log entry #465:  Characters Wander.  Given a moment, this link should take you directly to the section relevant to this chapter.  It may contain spoilers of upcoming chapters.

As to the old stories that have long been here:

Verse Three, Chapter One:  The First Multiverser Novel

Old Verses New

For Better or Verse

Spy Verses

Garden of Versers

Versers Versus Versers

Stories from the Verse Main Page

The Original Introduction to Stories from the Verse

Read the Stories

The Online Games

Books by the Author

Go to Other Links

M. J. Young Net

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