Wearing only swimmers, I am sun baking at the shore of Mangrove Creek, a tributary of the Hawkesbury River. I fix my gaze on the sandy beach opposite to me, on the other side of the creek. I am sinking into deep meditation and a video starts to play before my mind’s eye.
The title appears:
The Sandy Beach.
I hear the narrator:
Once upon a time, right now, there was and is a passionate angler by the name of Aryanatha. He can hardly wait till it is five o’clock, to leave the turmoil of his busy office. He rushes home, kisses his wife and then, off to fishing. He settles at his favourite spot on the sandy beach and he puts the bait on the hook. He is ready to cast the line.
“This is the day!” he murmurs to himself with excitement.
He is after the big fish of his life. He twice hooked her, but she got away. First, she broke the line. Then when he doubled the strength of his line, she straightened the hook and spat it out. Now he is back with supple piano wire for the fishing line and a hook as thick as his little finger.
“Well, this time Miss, you won’t get away!” he swears.
He casts out the bait to a section of the water which he hopes to be deep.
“But not this deep!” he sighs in astonishment as his sinker keeps pulling line off his reel as it continues to plunge into the depths. Eventually the line slackens, indicating that the sinker hit rock bottom.
“Wow” he muses with joy.
“I must have landed the bait in a deep underwater cave. It might be her residence.”
He tightens the line and places it in the crook of his index finger to pick up the vibrations even if there is only a small nibble at the bait. The scene around him is teeming with life: mangrove trees in the water, fluffy fleece clouds sailing across the blue sky, birds gliding in the air to the sound of hunting fish as they overshoot above the surface of the water and fall back with a splash. Sheeee! Now, he simultaneously hears the hissing noise of his fishing line rushing into the water and feels a burning pain as the line cuts the crook of his index finger. Blood is pouring out of the wound. He could not care less about this. He is all concentration; tightening the line to tire the fish as she is trying to take more line.
He then begins to wind the line back when the fish heads towards him. Then a few metres in front of him, the water erupts in a tall fountain, camouflaging the huge fish inside it, as she desperately jumps for her life, trying to free herself from the hook. When she falls back in the water, the line goes completely limp. Now it is the angler’s turn to despair.
“I hope I did not lose her!”
He is winding the slack back as quickly as he can, but there is absolutely no resistance.
“Damn it!” he explodes.
“She’s escaped, before I could catch even a sight of her!” he cries.
But bang! Catching him almost off guard, now the line shoots off his rod’s spool, again with the speed and force of a freshly fired arrow.
“Hah, you cunning beast”, he swears.
“This time I won’t let you go.”
He tightens the spool, making it extra hard for the fish to gain line. She begins to circle, causing a whirlpool around her. She is obviously exhausted. But he still has an arm around a tree trunk to stop her from pulling him into the water.
He begins to reel her in. She is coming without resistance. With a last big pull, he beaches her!
Oh, what a sight!
The fish is about his size! Her scales exhibit all the colours of a rainbow! Her noble, wholesome figure is shining so brightly that he is nearly blinded.
“Quickly,” he whispers.
“Kill her before she tries to jump back to the water!”
He grabs his knife and he raises it to strike. But his hand freezes in the air! He tries again; only in vain!
As if an invisible force was stopping him.
Now he sees her right eye as she lies on her side. Tears are streaming down on her cheek. He can hardly believe what he sees. Her scales start to smoothen out and her head transforms into the head of a golden haired irresistibly beautiful woman.
Her body gives way to a woman’s body with exquisite curves and fully rounded breasts.
The angler is trembling like a terrified little boy. With the sun behind her, he is convinced that this fish-come-woman must be the Empress of the Waters.
He falls on his knees before her. She lifts up his chin and smiles at him. She is so magnetically glorious that he is completely enamoured of her.
She gently pulls his head to her bosom, their lips interlock and their bodies intertwine. He melts into her in an ecstasy of love making, feeling her soft skin around him as he completely fuses with her. He is fulfilled and wants nothing else but to be one with her forever. Absorbed into each other, their united single being slides back to the water, disappearing in the depths.
When a search party scours the scene later, they can find only his clothes and fishing gear.
He is declared ‘a missing person.’