What’d I Do To You?

Below you will find the results of my having challenged myself for a number of days to write a short story with a beginning and middle and an end inside of 30 minutes. Here is what I came up with. I hope you like it.

The last thing my father said to me was “Sharks don’t jump out of the water and bite people in the ass.” He was wrong.

The shark was about twelve feet long, and attached itself to my father’s posterior as he was air drumming to Weezer’s “Buddy Holly.” It yanked him off our aluminum skiff and, presumably, killed him. I say ‘presumably’ simply because when my father’s head washed up on shore, the next day, I racked my brain for hours trying to identify who could have possibly dismembered him, what with him having been dragged to the bottom of the ocean by a hammerhead shark. No. It was the shark.

I swore revenge. Once I had graduated from college, I would track down the beast and kill it. I began hanging around bars favored by old salts and investigated getting a hook for a hand. I also began drinking rum. Soon, I noticed that, as a theater major, my presence in school productions was diminishing. Local critics complained that the clattering of my peg leg made it impossible to clearly understand the dialogue in The Shadow Box.

Eventually, the sea beckoned. I dropped out of school and fitfully drove to Lake Ontario to destroy the moistened predator that had torn the heinie off’n my old man. Operating the accelerator was a chore, given my wooden tibia. Twice, I was asked to truncate my journey by those I had inadvertently run over. I was a man possessed.

And so I stand, on the shores of Lake Ontario, screaming for the cruel fish to reveal itself, my peg leg burrowing into the sand as I gesticulate. Wags comments that my shadow reveals to them the correct time. Still, tenacity is next to cleanliness.

Here come those damned kids and their dune buggy.

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