"Keep your ladder out in front of you," said Kyle's silhouette as it bobbed in the blackness; rounded edges moving against a sharp inky horizon. I shifted my grip on the aluminum frame and pushed farther out into the cold water, following closely. "If you step off the edge it will keep you from going under." I nodded in the dark, deciding that I was not particularly interested in "going under." I looked to my left, north up the shore and saw a few specs of light and the hint of others pushing out, darker on dark, so faint that they disappeared if you stared at them directly.
There is something about big black water that makes a man feel like a child. My worn boots kicked across the sandy bottom as old visions tickled my sleep-deprived mind; monsters, ghouls, fiends; lurkers known to inhabit the dark and gloom of young minds swam among my feet, just out of reach.
But there are monsters here. Real ones, of a sort. Ancient watery dwellers, some for many years thought to be extinct, out there somewhere, over the edge, each step bringing them closer.
Chest deep we pushed our ladders into the sand under clouds and stars. We, the fishy ghost-hunters of the southwest, our rods fast, our lines clean, our hooks sharp, would make our stand shoulder to shoulder as brothers, prepared for battle as first light pushed over the geographic sink of the Truckee River.
In this place history would be made. And perhaps we would catch some fish, too.
Alex Landeen is a freelance photographer and occasional scribbler of words. You can find him online at AlexLandeen.com and LandeenPhotography.com, and offline wherever the good times are.