Katrina had met Lola on her first flyfish catching trip. Her parents had been so excited to have her participate in this age-old Truxton Village tradition. Every year on the first day of spring, Truxton villagers would take their children who were between the ages of nine and ten years old to the Truxe River to catch their first flyfish. It was said that catching a flyfish would bring one great wisdom and help them to grow into the person they were meant to be. Being from out of the village, Katrina’s parents were always trying their best to assimilate to the Truxton ways. They wanted Katrina to fit in and feel like she belonged here.
Katrina had made herself comfortable in a dry dirt spot next to a soft grey-white round rock that seemed just right for her to lean her back up against as she peered into the wild running river before her. As she gazed at the clear blue flowing river just before the water met the rocks turning it into beautiful white rapids, she wondered what her life would be like as a flyfish. Would it feel like freedom to swish your tale from left to right until you hit the waters surface, spread your scaly pink wings and bound into the air. For a few glorious seconds, would it be worth their inevitable demise? Would it be worth becoming some random villager’s dinner?
It was 7:15 pm and with just a few minutes before night fall, the fly fish would be out soon. Katrina’s parents were just down the river a few feet away from her, conversing with some other parents about the excitement of their childrens’ first fly fishing event. It was then that a tall, skinny girl with hairy legs and glasses sat next to Katrina.
She shyly said, “hello,” and then starred down at her fishing rod. She seemed either quietly anxious or, simply bored by the activity to come. Like many Truxton girls, the shy girl wore a long brown dress that cut off just before her ankles, exposing her skinny, hairy legs. Maybe her mom didn’t let her participate in the hair removing ritual of young Truxton women, Katrina thought. Perhaps her parents were strict and forced her to come here against her will. Well I better talk to her and save her from this hairy mess. After all, Katrina once had hairy legs herself.
Nine-year-old Katrina turned to the girl and piped up, “My parents are making me do this. What about yours?”
“Huh, oh. Yeah, me too. I don’t really like fishing much,” the girl responded.
“Well, maybe instead of catching a fish we can jump on one and fly away!” Katrina exclaimed with child like glee.
The girl politely chuckled. “I would like that. I’m Lola.”
About twenty minutes into their conversation about their parents being completely lame, the sun had fallen from their sight and darkness befell the forest. Katrina looked around and noticed the other children gathering around her new favorite rock to get a better vantage point at the river. They waited with baited breath for the first flyfish to leave the water. Katrina was half mad that they had squeezed into her special rock area, when she heard it.
The first splash sounded lightly like a pebble being flung into a pond. The first flyfish had a large gaping mouth which billowed as air rushed inside of it. It’s wings spread open wide as it emerged from the dark blue water revealing scaly patches that sparkled in bright shades of pink in the moonlight. As barrels of flyfish followed it’s lead and lept from the underworld, the other children readied their fishing rods dutifully as their parents had taught them. Katrina looked down at her long, black shiny fishing rod, with its wiry white string and rusted metal spindle. She then proceeded to let it fall to the forest floor. She didn’t want to catch any of these miraculous creatures. She just wanted to watch them. Her parents still down the river, she looked over at Lola, who had a similar expression of awe on her face. They exchanged looks knowing that neither one of them would be eating dinner tonight. As the other children struggled with their fishing rods and impatient parents, Katrina and Lola sat by the soft grey rock and watched as a stream of glistening pink glided over the dark blue.