There’s an old legend here in my town. We don’t have a lot of people now, since most of the younger folk decided to go into the city to get office or factory jobs. The fishing seasons aren’t what they used to be.
I’m one of those stubborn old women who, like some of my dying friends, would rather stay here at home than go off into somewhere where people run around honking at everybody.
Anyway, the story goes that the smell of rotting fish follows certain places or people. And if it catches you, it’s a sure sign that you’re going to die. Supposedly a fisherman comes by with his fishing net, tangles you up in it, and then kills you.
The story is about an old fisherman that went out to the bay back in the 60s, you see, and he never came back. Well, didn’t come back alive. His body washed up many kilometers north of here, and was found tangled in his fishing net. A real sad story that one. Some say he was killed on purpose. He himself had gotten involved with some bad apples. Nobody really knows for sure, though.
One of my neighbors, Beth, from down the street was found dead with a broken neck after falling down the staircase. She had gotten her feet tangled up on a phone cord. I told her not to get those extra long ones, but she liked to walk around while talking, maybe more like yelling, on the phone.. her telephone cord following her around where ever she went.
It’s true that her house started smelling like rotting fish a few days before and rumors went around my tiny community that the fisherman had come back.
Not more than a week later, another one of my neighbors died over night after another freak accident. She was about to take a bath, when she got tangled up on the shower curtains and hit her head on the bathtub. She was found headfirst into the water, her legs sticking out and everything.
I’m afraid the fisherman is after me now. It makes sense, you see. I don’t believe these deaths are accidental. The fisherman tangles you up and then kills you. And he’s been trying to kill me.
The other day, someone moved my ball of yarn while I slept. Then, my old water hose that doesn’t work anymore was stretched across my front door when I walked out. He’s trying to tangle me up, and I know I’m next.
Last night, I heard him. His voice hums along with the sound of the ocean. And the stench of rotting fish filled the air and still won’t leave. But I’m not scared.
I guess I’m just sitting around here waiting. Legends always have some truth to them, right?