The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt … Sylvia Plath

Fish Sands - Paul Buckingham
Fish Sands - Paul Buckingham

Adam McClean

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Flash Fiction: Words 520: Title: The Biggest Pond In England: Author:© Adam McClean

The Biggest Pond In England

From out of the distant mountains came an ominous dark cloud fast approaching a small country village. It cast a looming shadow which blackened the sun as it clawed its way across grassy knolls and winding woodland paths.

Grey lightning swelled from deep within its thunderous belly, preparing to lash at the treetops and cackle at them with each sky-rattling thrash. Before anyone had a chance to hide, the heavens opened and an onslaught of rain cascaded down, flowing like a river through the twisting village streets; washing the green from the very grass itself.

The rain lasted hours and when it finally stopped the village and everything surrounding it, from the dense thickets to the crumbling roads, had been completely submerged, leaving only the very tips of houses visible.

One by one the villagers popped their heads from attic windows and began the weekly routine of dusting off canoes and setting sail for the village plug. This large rubber attraction sat in the centre of the market square, blocking off a sink-hole which ran deep underground.

Before they pulled the plug however the villagers would spend the day fishing, stocking up their supplies of local Herron and Bass. Such fish are well-known for hiding in underground burrows when the water dries up and racing out again at the first clap of thunder. Everyone would put on their yellow raincoats and dash out in their boats, whistling as they went and stuffing their pockets with enough egg sandwiches to leave a pungent aroma throughout every house in the village and lasting long into the night.

Some villagers had boats the size of houses, some had houses the size of boats, and some had nothing more than a simple plank of wood with a single oar. The size of someone's vessel wasn't a big deal in the village; it was the amount of fish caught at the end of the day which really mattered. What attracted everyone's attention, in the final accounting, would be how much Cod someone had managed to slip into their sack. The fishing couldn't last forever though and soon enough large shadows began to move quickly beneath the water. They weaved elegantly back and forth between the neighbouring gardens and houses, brushing past the church and circling around the local shop.

These were perhaps what everyone feared.

These were the giant Koi.

Roughly the size of two school buses, the Koi shimmered orange and white in the evening sun, their great mouths swallowing hundreds of smaller fish in each long gulp. Luckily no one had fallen victim to them yet as extensive safety procedures had been put in place to stop that from happening; the first and most effective being a combined shout of 'Everyone out of the water … the giant Koi are back again!'

On hearing the warning, the villagers would race home but not before pulling the plug and draining all the water. The Herron and Cod would swim back to their burrows and the Koi would ride the wave pool down the hole, deep underground, ready to emerge when the rain next falls.