fishhooks and fudgsicles

Another CBC Flash fiction, Stranger Than Fiction story. 250 words. Theme: Childhood memories


If you walk for almost half a kilometre, and are four feet tall, the water in Good Spirit Lake in Southeastern Saskatchewan is still only chest high.

My sister and I would wade out with the orange canoe until our dad could barely see us. On board was one half of a pair of walkie-talkies he had picked up at a yard sale. We dropped our lines and waited for perch.

One cloudless July morning, my sister, sitting in the front of the canoe, cocked the rod back at exactly the right angle and wedged the jagged piece of metal through the thin skin on the crown of my head. The pain? No worse than a split lip or a black eye. But the mess. So. Much. Blood. I thought I was a tough kid until I took a fishhook in the skull.

The screaming started when I saw the dark, thick liquid spilling over my glasses. Given the distance we were out and the fact I was rendered incapacitated, it was my sister’s adrenaline fueled paddling that got us back as fast as her teenage biceps could manage. We rushed through the expanse of shallow water while our dad ⎯ an award winning St. John Ambulance instructor ⎯ sent encouraging messages over the cheap walkie. Safely on the beach, my Snoopy T-shirt ruined, he stopped the bleeding then bought us fudgsicles.

We agreed it was a good thing mom stayed at the campsite with the dog.