No Recourse

Only twelve years old, Johnnie had freckles and an outgoing, fun-loving manner. He was enjoying a summer family trip on a rented chartered boat, cruising among Canada’s Gulf Islands. The boat was riding at anchor in a shallow cove of an obscure, lonely island. It had been a good morning, with lots of oysters found and collected, lots of clams dug, lots of swimming, and much log rolling on a huge floating log, all shared with Johnnie’s dad, older sister, Lynne, and older cousin, Scott.

Johnnie was taking the largest crab out of a crab pot, gingerly concentrating on his hold, steering away from a large pair of menacing pincers. Splat! Something struck him flush in the face and neck, scattering onto the deck.  It was an indefinable substance, soft, translucent, amorphous, even gooey.  It had shattered on contact, making a mess all around.

Johnnie jumped up. The first thing he saw was his mother’s anguished face, yelling at the culprits. Johnnie screamed out, “A jellyfish!  You hit me with a big, rotten jellyfish!”

His cousin was nice, but much bigger, and enjoying a good laugh. His sister was older and stronger and thought nothing of bullying him. His father loved a practical joke. They were pulling out of range. There was nothing he could do.

You assholes!” he shouted. “You assholes!” A third “You assholes” was directed nowhere, a sadly impotent mutter, until the crab got a hold of his index finger, and wouldn’t let go.


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