GENRE: MG Contemporary
The narrator is a foster child living with a quirky farm family. The old uncle, Miracle, has decided to eliminate a troublesome catfish he’s dubbed Ol’ Bugeye from the pond. Ralph and Susan are the parents, and Vicky is a young female member of the family.
We arrived at the pond as a geyser of water shot high into the air around a lone figure. My mouth went dry as the water rained down on him and the boat rocked violently. He was going to blow himself to bits!
“Miracle!” called Ralph. His calm voice was raised to be heard across the water. “Cut that out and get back here. It’s time for supper.”
“Then eat,” yelled Miracle. He threw something out into the water. The explosion was followed by another huge geyser.
Susan called, “You’re going to get hurt, Miracle, and you’re killing all the fish.”
“They’re not dead,” he replied. “Just stunned. I’ll stop as soon as I find Ol’ Bugeye.”
Vicky nudged my arm. “Look,” she whispered.
I pulled my gaze from Miracle and followed her pointing finger. Small waves lapped at the edge of the bank from the dynamite blasts further out. They made happy little sucking sounds. Then I saw what was happening in the water, and the sound changed to something sinister and gross.
Miracle was wrong. Fish were floating up everywhere. They were all different sizes and colors. But they all had one thing in common. They all looked dead as they slowly circled around in the water, their blank eyes and ghostly white bellies reflecting the sun’s rays like gruesome jewels. It was like watching some bizarre dance ritual of the dead.