Friday, May 19, 2006

Catfish

Scratch fiction topic courtesy of my boss. No, really.
Fredo slid the fish onto the pan, clash and sizzle, smoke rising to the kitchen ceiling.

"Only way to do catfish, man. Breading's my own recipe."

"Didn't know you cooked," said Barney, popping the top on another beer, slurping the foam that bubbled up from the lip, then sucking the ends of his moustache.

"Catfish ain't 'cooking,' it's just eating what you caught, man." Fredo plopped a plate in front of Barney, steaming fish lying across it like a body in the street.

"How'm I supposed to eat this?"

"With a fork, dumbass." Fredo had a tea towel over one shoulder, moving around the kitchen, slamming drawers and rattling spoons.

Barney'd never seen him like this. Normally Fredo moved slow and quiet, eyes half-lidded, answering questions in his own sweet time. But ever since this afternoon, since they were taking shots at the target out back of the cabin, Barney able to hit the bullseye at 300 yards with his Dad's old shotgun, God only knew where Fredo's shots went, but they sure as hell weren't going into the target.

"You having any?" Barney asked.

Fredo just kept shuffling things around in the kitchen and didn't answer, Jesus, he was as bad as Barney's wife, what bit him in the ass, thought Barney, before tucking in, the fish hot as a furnace, but the breading was heaven, grease running off onto the cracked plate. Barney got going, it was amazing, he'd never had fish like this before, just kept shoving it in and shoving it in until he felt something sharp hit the back of his throat.

Barney couldn't breathe. He looked up at Fredo, but he couldn't even get out enough air to make a sound, he felt heat building up behind his eyes, and finally Fredo looked around from where he was standing at the sink, Fredo saw him, Fredo would give him the heimlich or something, Fredo could fix it.

But Fredo had slowed down again, eyes lidding down, smile creeping up his face.

"Watch out for the bones, Sharpshooter," said Fredo.

9 comments:

anne said...

So... Your boss killed one of his shooting buddies, huh...

Daniel Heath said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
monkey 0 said...

"catfish ain't cooking, it's just eating what you caught, man."

you got your finger on that white trash pulse, c.b., I tell you.

Caryn said...

Some people just don't handle competition well...

Thanks for making me hungry. Despite the unfortunate ending. :-)

Bones said...

Ha!

Chemical Billy said...

Sh, Anne, nobody knows about it. Actually, this came out of a conversation with my boss. I was telling him about scratch fiction, and he was skeptical. "How do you know?" he wanted to know, as in How do you know that someone doesn't spend weeks sweating over this so-called fiction at the speed of typing? I told him we take it on faith, but, just as the work day was coming to an end, he said, "Here's a topic for ya - catfish." So I had to go back to my desk and pound this out.

Thanks, monkey. You know what they say, write what you know.

Only unfortunate for Barney, Caryn.

Thanks for dropping by, Bones.

jenn see said...

creepy...vindictive...

Bosbefok said...

Nice one. you may wanna change shotgun to rifle......
Maximum range for a shotgun isnt much more than 70 yards. (not being picky - just for future reference...) :-)

Chemical Billy said...

Creepy & vindictive - that's mem, Jenn!

Thanks for the tip, bosbefok, and thanks for stopping by...