“That past nightfall I dared not cast”. The grandeur of the majestic killers freezes the hairs on the back of my neck. Their iridescent scales glimmer as the moonlight reflects on them, waning and glowing. Their mighty presence dominates the surroundings as I tremble with fishing rod in hand. Dare I threaten them? Do I surpass my place by trying to capture the mightiest predator? A boyhood fantasy forces me to stay here tonight. The darkness creeps around me, teasing me to succumb to the night. But silently I continue, my eyes constantly trained on the cannibalistic beasts.
They circle the pond in perfect harmony as if performing a ritualistic dance. I stand witness to this fearsome display of beauty, my hand sweating and threatening to slip off the rod. The silence of the night is broken only by the occasional muffled hoot from owls, as they too stare transfixed. The smell of damp earth rises up and fills my nostrils, increasing my nausea. My eyes drift to the blood-stained pond lilies, reflecting the vicious nature of the pike. They lurk behind their prey, acting as master assassins. Their deadly jaws and fearsome speed are attributes that allow them to become the apex predator.
Splashes on the pond snap me out of my thoughts, as the pike being to move faster and faster. Blood rushes to my head, adrenaline courses through my body as I watch the magnificent fish race through the water. My hands flex on the rough timber of my fishing rod. I trace the pike with my eyes, slowly adjusting my hand to follow. Take the bait, I think to myself, urging the pike to fall victim to my trap. My years of fishing and vivid dreaming of this beautiful animal have led up to this moment now. I dictate this moment, I control the outcome.
My eyes are gripped onto the tender lips of the pike, watching it slowly drift towards my bait in the water, hovering and hovering…Bam! I yank my rod out of the water as the pike thrashes furiously, trying to drag me into the pond with it. It is a battle now between me and this massive beast now and I fight determined not to lose. With one last almighty push, I manage to drag the pike out of the pond, and it collapses on the ground alongside me. I lie there completely spent, my energy depleted. However, the animal that used to haunt me will do so no more.