New Short Story: “Gone Fishing” (preview)

Hello Peregrine Dunn. What are you up to?

Started a short story set in the Peregrine Dunn universe.  Here’s how it went…

There’s a cave I was told about, long time ago. Plenty of people been in it; scrawled on the walls, smoked a little happy puff, played at being adults. Wouldn’t find a person who spent the night though. Reasons.

Go in there when the moon’s full; say, around the time of the equinoxes or the solstices, you might find the cave’s gotten a bit longer than you remember. Maybe there’s that shadowy back you never quite went down leads to something stranger, a tunnel leading to a deeper cave and then one after that and one after that.

So there you are, pretty deep under, in earthquake territory, with the walls kind of humming-or is it vibrating? Or waiting?—and you’re hoping you’re not the world’s greatest idiot when you come across the pool.

Now, you may have heard about stuff like this before, or you may not. Some pools they grow a little moss or maybe it’s a type of fish or maybe it’s some kind of chemical in the water but they have themselves a certain kind of glow. You can see something like it on some beaches sometimes—beautiful sight—but this is a little different.

Opalescent, meaning like a pearl, fainter than the beach lights but doesn’t matter. Cave’s so dark at this point, that the pool appears to light everything up like the moon. Just like the full moon, come to think of it.

So here you are, full moon pool, who in the seven hells knows how far from the surface, and you might figure that this is a place for some very, very interesting fishing. And you might have on you a very curious piece of fishing line that you’ve been carrying along for an occasion just like this.

This line might have been woven by an Ojibwe woman, in proper spirit, in proper ways, just like you’d weave  the line for a dreamcatcher, like old woman spider Asibikaashi taught her People. Except this wasn’t in the shape of a web, but in a corded line, inspired by the old dream-weaver herself but a sight bigger than most would expect.

These things do happen.

And you might also, in your pocket, have a bone fish-hook. And this fish-hook might have been carved out by an ali’i man, in proper spirit, in proper ways, inspired by Maui’s hook at Hamakua, found again by gazing up at Manaiakalani in the sky, which Europeans insist should be called Scorpius, until that bone is just the right shape and size.

These things do happen.

Alongside this spider dream-weaver fishing line and island-raising inspired fish-hook, you might just be carrying some bamboo, using it first as a walking stick. After all, long way up to the cave. Long way back, too. Figure it would come in handy. And not really inspired by anything. Nothing very magical about it. Just a tough piece of grass that holds itself like a tree. Strong too.

It might be that having something mundane is the perfect anchor when fishing for a god.

So, that’s how I happened to end up fishing, at a pool, in a cave, under the earth, and wrestled up Baron Samedi from the lands of the restless dead.

More to come…

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