All right now. Remember the rules of driving drunk. Drive slowly, but not too slow. Radio turned up and the windows down to keep the fresh air moving. Danny reached his arm out of the driver’s side window and placed on the boat on top to make sure it was still there.
“So, won’t you flyyyyy higghhhhh freeeee birrrd yeah.” He cranked up the radio even louder since his favorite Lynyrd Skynyrd song was on. He pounded his fists against the steering wheel and sang along as he made his way down State Road 46.
“I’m uh gonna catch you tonight, Wally.” He said out loud to no one basically because nobody else was there. “Damn, that catfish is mine! Gonna be some good eatn’ for quite a while.” He flipped his turn signal on as he approached Harry’s Bait & Tackle. Great, a fuckn’ cop. What the hell is he doin’ here at this hour? It’s alright, just be cool.
He pulled in and left his truck running as he went in to buy what he needed. The officer was at the counter with Harry, and they both looked over at him as he entered.
“How’s it goin’, Harry?” He tried his best to act sober. Left foot right foot. Left foot right foot. He started to think he was overthinking. Danny was relieved when he noticed the cop leave while he got his bait and some extra beer. He walked up to the counter.
“Tonight’s the night, Harry. Gonna catch Wally.” He said.
“There’s no damn Wally in that lake, Danny. Catfish around these parts don’t grow to no one hundred and fifty pounds.”
“Whatever, you don’t know nothin’.”
“I’ll tell ya what I do know. Bradley, the cop that just left, said they pulled a half-eaten body out of Monroe two days ago. And, people have been sayin’ that they’ve seen a Nix in the water at night.”
“What the fuck is a Nix?” Danny tilted his hat a little.
“Think of it as a freshwater, Siren.”
“Well, what the hell is a Siren then?”
“Damn it! You’re an idiot; you know that? A Siren is a sort of Mermaid but dangerous. Sirens are those creatures from the Greek times that called to sailors with their beautiful voices, and when the men got close, they were killed.”
“Mermaid? Those are nice and even a little hot if you ask me.”
“Well, these Nix can turn into anything or anyone to get you to come closer, and then they attack.” Harry lurched halfway over the counter, and Danny laughed. Harry settled back down and asked, “Is that all for ya then?”
“Yeah, this bait better be good, though.” He shook the container and pulled out his wallet to pay.
As he got back in his truck, he couldn’t help thinking what the hell all the talk about a Nix was for. People believe in the stupidest things. What’s next? Loch Ness? He backed up and pulled onto the road, headed for the lake.
About twenty minutes later, he arrived and got out to get his boat down. With the boat at the water’s edge, he attached the trolling motor and placed all his gear inside. He pushed off with high spirits and a cold beer in his hand. He maneuvered the boat as fast as it would go down the shoreline and then headed for deeper water where the big fish resided.
He baited his treble hook and cast. He watched as the line sunk deeper and then finally hit bottom. He sat the pole down and leaned it out over the edge of the boat. With only five beers left in his Styrofoam cooler, he added the extras he had bought at Harry’s. Man, this is the life. How could anyone want anything more? He finished his Pabst and cracked another one open and looked up at the night sky.
He caught the sound of what he thought was a woman singing in the distance. He sat up and concentrated. Just then, his pole jerked alive and grabbed for it. “Come on, be Wally.” He said to his pole.
He wrapped his hands around the rod as tight as he could and lowered the tip a little and then yanked back as hard as he could to set the hook. At first, he thought he was hooked on a dead tree or something because the line didn’t move. Damn it! Then the boat moved forward. Whatever was at the end of his line was big. Really big. The boat started to move again, and he held the rod in one hand while fumbled for the anchor to toss it in. With the anchor rapidly sinking, he set in for a long fight with the monster. When the anchor hit bottom, it dug in, and the boat came to a standstill as his pole about jumped out of his hands.
After about half an hour, he hadn’t made much progress with the fish. He started to think he might not ever reel this thing in. The soft voice of a woman singing drifted across the lake once again. He couldn’t quite make out what was sang, but he could tell it was a woman’s voice. He looked out over the water to see if any other boats were around and saw nothing. That’s gotta be someone on the shore. Who would be out on the water singin’ at this time of night?
Then as quickly as the fish had hit the bait and ran, it turned and began its way toward the boat. Danny reeled as fast as he could to keep the line tight. “What is this thing, tryn’ to do?” He half yelled at himself.
With whatever he had about thirty feet from his boat, he started to think it was all about over. The line went taught again, and he pulled with everything he had to get it closer to the boat. A few more feet and you’re mine, big boy! One last-minute of exhilarated strength and the fish was at his side.
“Wally! I caught Wally! Hot damn, this is it.” He nearly jumped out of the boat at the sight of the enormous catfish that rested at the top of the water.
As he reached over to grab the fish by the gill, it morphed into a hideous looking half woman half fish. The moonlight illuminated her long brown hair and disappeared into her large black eyes. She grabbed his arm and jerked him out of the boat and into the water. He didn’t have time to think about what he had just seen. He needed to get back into the boat. The Nix swam around him at close distance and circled closer with each go around. He looked over his shoulder and tried his best to get back in the boat but with no luck.
He realized he wasn’t too far from sure and decided to make a go for land even if he was too drunk to swim. He pushed off the boat with his feet and heard what sounded like a thousand voices echoing down a hall come from behind him. Danny swam as hard as he could only to feel the grasp of sharp claws pull at his ankles.
He kicked and kicked until the Nix let him go. Then as fast as she let loose, she drug him underneath the surface. The bubbles escaped slowly at first, and eventually, he felt his lungs began to burn. With a last-ditch effort, he reached down and grabbed her by the side of the face and dug his thumbs into her eyes. The previous sound of the voices exploded once again. While he drifted back to the surface, he could see the shoreline not to far off, and he began to pull at the water again
The next time the Nix returned, it wasted no effort in finishing him. It took a chunk out of his left thigh that left him motionless in the water.
“Help! Help!” he screamed, but no one was around to hear his calls.
With his leg bleeding as the monster circled again, he decided to stop and fight.
“Come on, you son of a bitch! Do you want a fight? I’ll give you one!” He screamed and waited for her to attack.
The Nix’s head and shoulders broke the surface of the water just inside the darkness of the night. She let out another sound that left his ears ringing at first and then silence. He opened his mouth to pop his ears, but nothing happened. His hearing had vanished. The Nix dove back under, and Danny waited.
He was pulled under again about ten feet and then let go. He opened his eyes to see the Nix quickly headed straight at him. He let out a scream, but the water came pouring in.
The last thing he saw before everything went black was a wide-open mouth full of elongated serrated teeth that pointed inward and filled a dark blue mouth.
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