by Selina Rosen
"All right buddy where are you going in such a
hurry," The trooper said shining a flashlight in the
guy’s window. The guy was filthy covered with mud and
what might have been blood.
"Officer please... you don’ understand... You gottah
let me go, they’re after me an’ you don’ want ta stop
me, ya sure don’ wannah be doin’ that."
The guy’s breath stunk of whiskey, and Jed only then
noticed that an open bottle sat beside the guy on the
seat. "Step out of the car, mister"
"Dammit man, you’d better let me go..."
"Buddy," Jed said moving his hand to caress the
handle of his 45. "You better get out nice and slow and
keep your hands where I can see them."
"Man you just don’t get it. Why won’t anyone listen
dammit?" The man opened the door to his truck and slowly
got out. He was limping a little with what looked like a
knife wound in his upper right thigh – this was no doubt
the source of all that blood. "Now listen to me, I ain’t
drunk an’ I ain’t crazy. If’in ya wannah live to see
mornin’ you best be lettin’ me go. There are things
after me. Things ya don’ wannah be dealin’ with."
"That what stabbed ya then? Little green men?" Jed
"No dammit but something even more crazy soundin’ an
twice as dangerous cause it’s real," The man sighed as
if he didn’t expect to be taken seriously.
"Better give me your driver’s license," The man
handed it to him still in his wallet. Jed checked him
out as he read the guy’s stats to make sure everything
matched up. Jimmy Dean Walker looked every bit of the 6
foot 4 his drivers license said he was, and his
substantial beer gutt not only said that he probably
wasn’t no athlete, but that he probably weighed the 260
pounds he’d claimed. It said forty and he looked forty,
and that mop of black hair would be hard to mistake. His
breath smelled of liquor, yet from what Jed knew of
drunks he now realized that this guy probably wasn’t,
his eyes weren’t glassy looking he didn’t seem
distracted at all, and his speech wasn’t slurred.
Jimmy Dean moved to scratch his head.
"Keep your hands where I can see them." Jed ordered.
"So... how’d you get stabbed?"
"I didn’ get stabbed. Dammit man, can’t ya jus’ let
me go? I’m only dangerous to anyone if I stick around
and I don’ mean to stick around."
"How’d ya get hurt?" Jed said ignoring his pleas.
"You won’t believe me if I tell ya."
"Try me?" Jed said.
"A mutated walkin’ catfish finned me." Jimmy Dean
Jed started laughing. "Alright buddy walk over to my
car you’re taking a breath test."
"Move!" Jed was losing his patience.
Ole Jimmy Dean was barely legally drunk which meant
he probably wasn’t drunk at all. However he had
obviously been in some sort of tussle. Jed searched him,
didn’t find anything but a pocket knife and a pair of
fishing pliers, but he handcuffed him anyway and put him
in the back seat his hand on the top of his head.
"Dammit man... Please ya gotta believe me. They’ll be
comin’ ya best be lettin me go."
"Who’ll be comin’?"
Jed laughed and left his prisoner locked in the back
of his car as he went to check out the man’s truck. He
found a twelve gauge shotgun and a 35 caliber revolver
behind the seat as well as a huge fishing net. He put
the weapons in the trunk of his squad car and headed for
"You’re making a terrible mistake," Jimmy Dean said.
He was tending to the wound in his leg, or at least
poking at it to see how bad it was.
"You best not be threatening me boy."
"I ain’t threatenin’ ya, puddin’ head, I’m warnin’ ya,"
Jimmy Dean said. "I know It sounds crazy. Don’ ya think
I know it sounds crazy?"
The man sounded near tears, not something you
expected from a man of his size. Jed watched the man
fiddling with his leg in the rear view mirror. "Maybe we
oughtah take ya to the hospital an get that leg looked
at before we take ya to the station."
"For the love ah God don’ do that." Jimmy begged.
"It’s bad enough what’ll happen to all ya’ll with out a
whole hospital’s fate on my conscience."
Jed just ignored the crazy old coot the rest of the
way to the station house.
Jed’s chief looked from him to the prisoner. "So far
no one’s called any sort of altercation in. Nothing that
would match what’s happened to this guy anyway. I’ve
tried calling the station in Green Spur to see if he’s a
trouble maker or if they’ve had trouble, but so far I
haven’t been able to get through the lines are
apparently down, I keep getting a service message. Maybe
if we can get him talking he’ll tell us what happened."
"Chief... this guy’s crazier than ole Cooter’s goat."
"Maybe that’s just his game. Let’s get him to tell
his story. More likely than not he’ll crack." The chief
nodded and Jed followed him over to where the prisoner
sat in a chair still cuffed. As a sign of trust the
chief undid Jimmy’s handcuffs – at least that’s the
reason Jed guessed he did it.
"So Jimmy Dean want to tell me where you were going
in such a hurry? Jed here clocked you at 80 miles an
hour in a 55."
"You really wannah know or ya jus’ wannah call me
crazy and shut me up?"
"I want to hear what you’ve got to say for yourself."
"If you want any chance at all of livin’ till mornin’
than you’d better listen an when I’m done tellin’ ya
best let me go."
"All right Jimmy."
"I was headin’ for the desert. Texas, I figured had
them some real dry spots and I figured that might kill
‘em, I mean they gottah go back in the water sometime."
"Kill what Jimmy?" The Chief asked.
"Them mutant catfish what walked out ah the swamp
down in Green Spur."
One of the other officers in the station laughed and
Jimmy glared at him. "I wish there was somethin’ ta
"Go on Jimmy." The Chief prompted.
"I told them. I told them all that company shouldn’
oughtah have been dumpin’ that shit inta the swamp, but
there weren’ no body listen’n’ to me then any more than
they listened to me tonight.
Started off jus’ like any other Saturday night me an
my good buddy Dick down at the swamp puttin’ out a few
lines, layin’ back in our chase lounges, bullshitin,’
drinkin’ a couple of brews. Weren’ long ole Dick had him
a bite, why that fish put up a fight like none I’d ever
seen then it just clean busted that 100 pound test line.
Well we was real excited thinkin’ we’d found us a
sure enough good fishin’ hole. We reset our lines and
waited expectin’ big things. But we sure as hell didn’
expect nothin’ like that. About a ten pound cat comes
walkin’ right up outah the water. Now I’d seen walkin’
catfish ’fore but they was always little things nothin’
like this, an this thing had glowing green eyes and
spins. I was scarred -- though I didn’ let on none to
Dick -- cause ah I knew that thing jus’ wasn’ normal.
Ole Dick though, all he could see was a big ass fish
that he could catch real easy like. He picked him up a
big ole stick and he wacked it in the head. It fell over
and commenced ta floppin’ all about so he hit it again
and again till it stopped. I got the flashlight and
walked over to have a good look and this thing was...
Well it was jus’ all wrong that’s all. I told Dick so,
an he jus’ laughed. Said he reckoned it’d be jus fine ta
eat it then.
Well we ain’t quit finished havin’ our little
tête-à-tête when about a half a dozen ah these bastards
come up out of the water fast, some of them bigger than
the first. I knew right then we were in big trouble. All
stupid ole Dick saw was more walkin’ fish dinners. He
started to try and hit these with a stick too. But this
time they jus’ ran away from him. An’ that’s what they
did too. They didn’ move slow like a normal walkin’
catfish these things moved quick and precise like a cat,
and it looked like to me that they thought and learned
as a group, because what had worked to kill that first
one wasn’t workin’ on these. They were working together
all right. Circlin’ us like ya circle some one when
you’re trin’ ta figure out their weak spots, an that’s
for sure what they was doin’. Well I might look like a
dummy ta most folks an it’s true I ain’t had me no
formal education but I sure ta hell ain’t no dummy. I
grabbed up that dead fish an I started runnin’ for the
truck an told Dick ta come on, which I really didn’ have
ta do cause even that dumb jerk knowed we was in trouble
then. Now I swear them damn things saw that we was
headen’ for that truck an they tried ta get round us and
cut us off. But I was scarred shittless an ain’t nothin’
faster in this world than Jimmy Dean Walker when he’s
scarred shitless. I slung that dead fish in the bed and
then I jumped in the cab. That’s when I hear ole Dick
jus a screamin’ and screamin’ an I turn around ta look
out the back window an now there’s about a pisszilion ah
these things an they has got oh Dick surrounded. Well I
get back outah the truck an grab ma shotgun from behind
the seat and I jus’ start blastin’ them till Dick gets
free and he runs an get’s in the truck and we take off.
Now like I said, I ain’t no dummy, so I head for the
one man in town I figure might know what to do. Joe Don
Peters the fish and game warden. He was eatten dinner
and wasn’ too happy ta see us, but I guess he could tell
we was pretty shook up, cause he asked us what was wrong
an when he saw it and heard our story he said he
reckoned on how it probably did have somethin’ ta do
with all them damn chemicals and how he guessed that
we’d have to send it off ta some lab in the capital ta
be sure and in the mean time he’d jus’ try to make sure
all the locals stayed clear of that fishin’ spot. He
didn’ really seem ta believe our story ‘bout how they
attacked us. Guess he thought we was pullin’ his leg
cause ah we were sortah known for doin’ that kind of
shit, but he sure as hell knew wasn’t no walkin’ catfish
oughtah be that big or have glowing eyes and spins and
all. He asked us ifin we’d like to have a bite to eat
and we reckoned on how that might not be such a bad idea
cause of us being scared nearly to death by those mutant
Why we hadn’t barely finished eatin’ all the good
vitals his Mrs. had cooked up when we heard one of his
rug rats a screamin’ an a yellin’ like it’s judgment
day. We all run out ta see what the ruckus is an one ah
them big fish has got ahold ah that boy with his
teeth... That’s right I said teeth, these things have a
mouth full of teeth just like a shark. They shredded
that boy faster than shit goes through a goose.
Ole Joe Don he grabs his gun and commences to firin’
but we all know it’s too late fer that boy. An the other
one, he never was too bright, jus’ stands there watchin’
as a hundred ah them things gather around his brother an
start eatin’ him, doesn’t even start ta move. So Dick,
who always was more the hero type then me, runs out and
grabs hold of him. Well I guess them things just saw
someone running off with part of their dinner and
freaked out. They leave off eatin’ an they run after
Dick. One of them jumps on his back grabs him with those
spines of his then bites ole Dick on the back of the
neck and jerks his back bone right out. Swear ta God,
fillet him right there in front of us. Poor ole Dick
jus’ sortah fell ta the ground like a busted bag ah
feed. They got that other kid of Joe Don’s too. I don’t
know who was screaming and crying louder at that point
me or Don’s old lady.
’Bout the time the rest of us had piled back in the
house, Joe Don realized that shooting them with that
damn pistol of his just seemed to piss them off. So he
runs and shuts the door. Me, I’m wishing I had my shot
gun from the truck cause that seemed to actually kill
We start pushing stuff in front of the door and the
windows. But we know that probably isn’t going to stop
them. Joe Don calls the police station but he don’t even
get no dial tone. See them suckers done knew. Somehow
they knew that we were trying to call for help. Maybe
they’re telepathic or maybe they could feel the hum of
the wires. I don’ know I just know that somehow they cut
the phone wires and we were stuck there. We heard glass
breaking then and the couch we had moved in front of the
window was tossed aside like it was a child’s toy. They
rushed in that window like the troops storming Normandy.
I can’t really remember gettin’ in my truck and drivin’
away. All I remember was Joe Don’s poor wife jus’ sittin’
there cryin’ over her dead kids and not carin’ any what
happened to her which was jus’ as well cause they killed
her right off and Joe Don was still screamin’ as I drove
away. Now don’ go thinkin’ I was ah coward cause I wasn’.
Someone had ta git out an’ warn the town and there weren’
no one left who knowed what was goin’ on but me. So I
drove ta the police station an I gottah tell ya them
dumb assed bastards was lookin’ at me a whole lot like
y’all is. Even when I showed them that God-awful fish. I
got really mad at them, havin’ jus’ watched my best
friend an a good man an’ his entire family devoured by
these things. I was hardly in the mood for their snide
comments about my sanity or my drinkin’. I told them all
to go fuck themselves so ah course they was goin’ to
lock me up. They was jus’ bout ta shove me in a cell
when here came them fish an now they had a taste for
blood an they knew even more bout us. Well they had all
them cops killed, fillet, an eaten faster than a fat
woman can down a cupcake. I tried to grab one ah them
fish ta save a man and that’s how I got spined in the
leg. Well I could see I wasn’ helpen’ none so I made a
run for it and managed to get back to my truck
I took off. Didn’t even know where I was goin’ till I
saw the church was havin’ some sort of meetin’. I
figured that was the best place to warn everyone and
hopefully convince them to put as much ground between
them and the devil fish as possible. Tell their loved
ones and all.
Course preacher Jackson was pissed off that I
interrupted his service and when I told everyone my
story he started preaching about the evils of lying and
drinking and all the other sins he was sure I was guilty
of committing. He hadn’ gotten a chance to tell me I was
goin’ to be frying like a Frito in the fiery furnaces of
hell if I didn’t change my ways, when them fish showed
up an’ by now... Well they’d gotten really good at
killen people. Still I somehow managed to get away and
that’s when I realized somethin’ more terrible than
In spite of themselves the entire station was now
sitting around listening intently to the man’s insane
story. "What was that?" The Chief asked with earnest
"That the bastards were using me for bait. That’s why
I was headin’ for the desert. I figured they’d follow
me. Now, you’d best be lettin’ me go on my way."
They all laughed at Jimmy Dean and he sighed. Then
the lights flashed and went out.
Jed heard a sound like nothing he had ever heard
before, like a thousand flip flops pounding on a wet
floor. In the darkness someone screamed, and Jed saw
dozens of glowing green eyes in the darkness.
"Damn!" Jimmy Dean cursed. "I wish I could get just
one person to believe my fish story."