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Fish Face

The fish POV.

By Mark GagnonPublished about a month ago 3 min read
Top Story - June 2024

Is it safe? Is it safe? It must be safe. I don’t hear any fishing lures plunking into the water or boats with trolling motors plying the surface of my lake. Yes, I said my lake, even though these air-breathing humans treat it and those of us living in its water as theirs. I have been battling with one of them for almost ten years. He started this war, but he’ll never win.

It all started when I was just a minnow, darting helter-skelter, fascinated by my surroundings. My cousins and I were small, so we swam in a school for protection and stayed away from the deep water where the predators lived. No one told us about the killers living on the lake’s surface. We learned about them the hard way.

It started as a faint hum, barely detectable to our senses. The hum grew into an annoying buzz and rapidly became a sensory-numbing roar. A dark shadow floated in the water above us, stopping directly over our heads. We were young and allowed our curiosity to take control. It was the last thing many of my fellow school friends did. A large shadowy object sifted through the water, trapping many of my comrades.

None of this made any sense to me, so I swam to the surface for a better view. Careful not to expose my gills to the air, my face breached the surface of the water. That was the first time I spotted the human who would become my lifelong enemy.

He was younger than his companions and clearly a novice at what people call fishing. A much older man, possibly his grandfather, was instructing him on the correct way to skewer one of my schoolmates with a hook-shaped thing attached to a string. My unfortunate friend was now bait. Having seen enough, I was about to head for deeper water when the boy and I momentarily locked eyes. He laughed and called out, “Hey look, Grandpa, little Fish Face is watching us.”

“Fish Face!” Of course, I’m a fish. What other type of face would I have? I should refer to him as Human Face because that’s what he is, a rude, murdering human. My enemy for life!

This is a large lake, but fate continually ensured our paths crossed. The motor on his boat transmitted a distinctive vibration which alerted me of his arrival. My back fin twitched whenever his boat came close. The closer he came, the stronger the tremor became until instinct took charge and I would dive for the lakebed and wait. It didn’t take long before I heard a small plop, followed by food slowly sinking into the depths.

My stomach insisted I feed, but my survival instincts knew better. Instead of taking that fatal bite, I would lay still and watch another fish with less control swim in and chomp down. Seconds later, a line jerked, and it became human food. When this happened, I raced to the surface and leaped into the air to show my enemy he had failed.

This game of fish and human has been going on for years. Sometimes, instead of leaping out of the water, I place my face just above the surface the same way I did all those years ago and stare at Human Face. Usually, after reeling in one of my brethren, he’d lean over the side of his boat and scan the surface, searching for me. Our eyes would meet in acknowledgment, then he’d mutter, “Next time, Fish Face, next time.” Of course, I will never let that happen.

(This picture came from a competition a local newspaper is running. I'd appreciate whatever feedback and suggestions you can offer before I submit it. Thanks for your help)


About the Creator

Mark Gagnon

I have spent most of my life traveling the US and abroad. Now it's time to create what I hope are interesting fictional stories.

I have 2 books on Amazon, Mitigating Circumstances and Short Stories for Open Minds.

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Comments (27)

  • Dr. Jason Benskin26 days ago

    Congratulations on having your story featured as a top story on Vocal! This is a remarkable achievement, and it's clear why your work has received such recognition. Your storytelling is truly exceptional. The narrative was not only compelling but also beautifully crafted, holding my attention from start to finish. The way you developed the characters and plot was masterful, making the story both engaging and thought-provoking. Your unique voice and perspective shine through, setting your work apart. It’s evident that you poured a lot of passion and effort into this piece, and it has certainly paid off. I look forward to reading more of your incredible stories in the future. Keep up the fantastic work! Best regards, Dr. Jay

  • L.C. Schäferabout a month ago

    Clever fish!

  • MrZabiabout a month ago

    Amazing story keep uploading 🙌

  • ROCK about a month ago

    Congratulations on Top Story!

  • Sweileh 888about a month ago

    Interesting and delicious content, keep posting more now

  • John Coxabout a month ago

    This story is great, Mark! Congratulations on Top Story! The only suggestion I can think of is it might be fun if the human tried to net the fish and leaned out over the water too much and fell in.

  • Tina D'Angeloabout a month ago

    Love it! I was worried about you. Congratulations, Mark. They are finally recognizing your genius!

  • Donna Fox (HKB)about a month ago

    I think you've got another winner here Mark, especially with it being dubbed TS!! Honestly though, the narrative voice you chose and the angst of the fish was humorous and made for such a great read!! Loved this!!

  • D.K. Shepardabout a month ago

    Incredible picture and a great story paired with it! Excellent work and congrats on 🔝 story!

  • Ameer Bibiabout a month ago

    Wow, the visual is superb, really impressive and the content also Many congratulations on TS

  • TahimaAniabout a month ago


  • Andrea Corwin about a month ago

    ❣️I think the picture is fabulous! It is kind of like a Koi and it is for sure looking at us. Loved your story, it drew me in. I liked the thoughts between the 2 main characters; and congrats on TS, Mark!🥳

  • sophia Newmanabout a month ago


  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarranabout a month ago

    Back to say congratulations on your Top Story! 🎉💖🎊🎉💖🎊

  • D. J. Reddallabout a month ago

    Ichthyological imaginings are too rare, and this one is--forgive me--fishy in the best sense! Congratulations for a well deserved TS!

  • Cathy holmesabout a month ago

    Also, I know this one is for the newspaper, but it could also be hilarious if you took inspiration from it and created a conversation between Fish Face and the human for the Vocal challenge.

  • Dana Crandellabout a month ago

    I got a kick out of this one, Mark! I'm sure the newspaper will, too. Congrats!

  • Melissa Ingoldsbyabout a month ago

    Dang this is creative and cute 🥰 I love fishing and I love nature too you created a wonderful piece here fir fishface

  • Shirley Belkabout a month ago

    Great story! Submit it to the newspaper. I know people will enjoy it. Congratulations on your Top Story :)

  • Cathy holmesabout a month ago

    This is great story. I cheering for the fish. Congrats on the TS.

  • JBazabout a month ago

    Back to say Congratulations

  • Silver Serpent Booksabout a month ago

    This is a great story! It's so unique in its perspective and the repetition in the very first line really drew me in. I loved this! No changes needed in my opinion! Clearly so with a Top Story. Congrats!!

  • Dharrsheena Raja Segarranabout a month ago

    Yayyyyyy, I'm so happy for Fish Face! He's so smart! Loved your story!

  • Hannah Mooreabout a month ago

    I'm rooting for the fish! I feel like there's some potential for a mutual dependence. Like, I feel like the man would lose heart if he were to actually catch him.

  • Jay Kantorabout a month ago

    Mark - You 'Hooked' me with the Title - ~ Catch & Release, Jay ~

Mark GagnonWritten by Mark Gagnon

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