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Book One World War Three 1946

Book One World War Three 1946
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Monday, May 25, 2015

Teach a Man to Fish

The Fisherman was out on the lake as always catching the species of trout that only lived in this body of water. The waves were only a couple of inches without any white caps and the sun was shining bright and clear, which was unusual for this time of year. It was about 20 degrees Celsius and just a beautiful fall day to be out fishing. The Fisherman appreciated the weather but he would have been out all day anyway. He was floating on a pristine lake in Armenia, Lake Sevan to be exact, and today he was being disturbed.

Frequently now the capitalist bombers passed over a couple of times a week but they were so high and there was nothing to bomb here, that it was only the noise they made that was out of the ordinary. He had gotten used to them as had the fish he was certain.

He was floating just a mile off the coast from the old monastery when he heard the first of what was to be hundreds of trucks. The monastery had been closed for many decades but the buildings were still upright and strong. The ghosts of the warrior monks who defended the land for centuries keep most away.

These trucks were of a newer model and different make than the few he has seen in his life and they were full of soldiers; soldiers of the Red Army who looked to be on their way to a major battle and not just an excursion into the hinterlands of the USSR. This would be an unusual invasion route into the Turkish lands he mused. I guess if you want to catch an enemy unaware you do the unusual. Yet here they were and he was sure that they would try and catch his fish.

Lake Sevan was 78 km long and 58 wide and he had rowed every inch of it. He had heard that it was 95 meters deep as well placing it as one of the largest lakes in the world and it was located 1900 meters high surrounded by mountains. All in all it was one of the most beautiful places on earth but the Fisherman knew no other so to him it was just home. He fished to live and lived to fish, selling his catch to another who came to him in a powerboat and bought what he could not eat. Most of the time he was paid in kind and that is what he preferred. Salt, thread, cloth, line, hooks, all things he needed to survive and to keep his boat afloat and his small sail patched. He was being taken advantage of by the men in the power boat but he did not care of even knew this was the case.

He probably did not even own the land his shack was on but no one knew who did so by default he did. If you found an empty piece of land, you lived there and it was then it was yours until you died and someone else came along. Men like him did not have families. He did come from a family he recalled but was on his own since the age of 10. A fire or pillaging band of bandits had taken his family as far as he could remember which was not much about that time. A modern clinical diagnosis would be “repressed memory” and be concerned. He just never thought about it and lived to fish instead.

What was happening on shore became annoying as well as alarming. The trucks were disgorging hundreds of soldiers near the Monastery. I suppose it was a natural draw for someone not from the area. That was the annoying part. The alarming part was that other trucks were headed for his hut. Most of what he owned was in the boat with him including all he needed to survive but he remembered he left his good knife, extra fishing line, his winter store of fish and the painting in there. It would set him back a full moons worth of extra fish to replace them by trading with the men in the powerboat and who knew when he would be able to catch enough to replace his winter stores.

The book was where he found it wrapped in cloth and wedged very safely between two boulders. No one would find it and if they did it was not very appealing. That’s partially why he just kept it hidden. He could not read and the few illustrations were of the “Ascending Jesus” and were not very well done in his mind. He had seen a photograph once and was much impressed with that but not with this admittedly old book full of scribbles and squiggly lines and bad hand drawn pictures that didn’t even look as real as the photograph he had seen when the men in the powerboat had shown it to him.

He hated to fish on the ice. He has seen too many fall in when you were too hungry in the spring to take precautions on the thin ice. He had seen too many mistakes made by relatively smart men.

He could only assume that the soldiers were on their way to fight the Turks. There was certainly nothing else to fight here. He did not know who he pitied more, the soldiers who were about to die in a foreign land or himself who would go hungry this winter. Luckily he knew of another hut that he could claim. Its occupant had died the last moon. He had already staked a claim on it using the tried and true methods of the area but it was on the other side and farther away from his favorite fishing spot. He would have to spend twice the amount of energy getting there and back and during the winter the lake did not always freeze all the way over so he might have to go to his other less fertile fishing spots.

He began to curse the soldiers. Maybe if he killed a couple over the next few nights they would leave. No… they would try and hunt him down. They would not succeed but that would make him use up much needed supplies and who knows they just might get in a lucky shot and wound him. He was not afraid of dying but he was afraid of being shot and waiting to die while in pain.

No he would have to bide his time and wait to see what they did or were going to do here. His hope was that they were just passing through on their way to fight the Turk.