Chapter 2: Hunt for the Monster
Bish Bash Lake was located on the left side of the town. It separated Bridgetown from it’s eastern neighbor, Warren. You could see the forested areas of Warren from the other side. The lake was fed by an inflow that came from Skrawl Bay, which is apart of the much larger Boston Bay.
There was only one dock that allowed fishermen to board and sail on Bish Bash, which was located in the middle of the Bridgetown border with the body of water.
There, crusty fishermen would load up in their boats and set sail into the lake, casting their nets and reels in hopes of finding something to sell at the Bridgetown Fish Market. Yet in the days following the lake monster attack, there wasn’t a fish to be found. Fishermen were loosing hope and had sold their boats to keep them afloat until they found another job.
Life was rough for a Bridgetown fisherman. Thankfully there were still a few stubborn fishermen left, who operated the docks. It was there, specifically a peer called “Trout Landing” where Caroline was waiting for Rick.
Caroline’s mom had dropped her off at the docks at around 9:00am that day. Caroline told her mom that she was only going to stay till noonish, for she didn’t want to spend another second with Rick.
Rick, on the other had, didn’t want to tell his folks anything about the situation. Not just because he didn’t want them to know about the situation that got him into the arrangement, but because he didn’t like telling them about Caroline. In fact, Rick never told his mom and dad about Caroline and her heckling. He could never really think of a valid reason why he never did, but it was too late to start then.
So he left his house around 8:00am and biked his way to the docks.
Caroline sat on a metal and wooden bench situated next to the peer, where metal fencing guarded the public from falling into the harbor. Caroline was occupying her time by reading Jill Orville’s Anatomy of Quackery, although she already read the book three times.
She was in the middle of reading the chapter about Crop Circle hoaxes when Rick pulled up on his mountain bike. Caroline scoffed at the Bigfoot print on the bike and got up from her seat.
“Took you long enough!” she said as she stood up and slammed shut her book.
“Sorry, I had to get some stuff!” said Rick, as he pulled something out of his multi-pocket backpack. It was an newspaper article, specifically the Bridgetown Times. It was an older version of the paper, what with the paper turning to a sandier color over time. The headline of the story read, “Lake Monster seen in Bish Bash! Loch Ness of Bridgetown?“.
“What is that?” asked Caroline, taking a closer look at the newspaper.
“The first sighting of Bishy! The Bish Bash Lake Monster!” explained Rick, though the obvious nickname made Caroline groan.
The article was written on April 25th, 1980, and it read; ”Last Saturday at around 10:50am, fisherman K. W. Brewster claimed to have seen a Loch Ness Monster like creature rise out from the lake. Brewster described the creature as having a long neck and resembling something like a dinosaur. The creature turned to him, and dived back into the water.”
“And you think his newspaper is legit, right?” replied Caroline.
“Well, yeah! How else could it have made its way to the paper?” said Rick.
“Cause newspapers lie all the time!”
“Wow. Ever heard of freedom of the press?” scoffed Rick, holding his arms and giving Caroline a stern look. Caroline, however, wasn’t impressed.
“You know what? I don’t care! So here’s the plan; we’re going to interview a few fishermen. I’ll do the talking! You just take notes. Got it?”
“No way! You’re going to scare him off with your cynical skepticism!”
“I’m not cynical!” replied Caroline. “And besides, if anything, they’d probably be scared off with your insane monster theories!”
“Didn’t Ms. Rook say we have to work together? You know... As a team?” replied Rick.
Caroline hated that Rick was being so difficult, but he was right, it wouldn’t be a group project if Caroline did all the talking.
“Ag! Fine! You can ask one question. But if you scare him away with your nonsense I’ll throw you into the lake!”
“Whatever… Let’s just get this over with.” Mumbled Rick as he stuffed his hands into his hoodie pockets.
They made their way down to the docks, where there were only two fishermen working. Lucky for Rick and Caroline, one of those fishermen was Dale Freeman, one of the fishermen aboard the ship that was attacked by the supposed lake monster. He was busy tying motor boats and canoes to the peer.
“Excuse me, sir. Are you Dale Freeman?” asked Caroline, causing the fisherman to look up from tying down a large, red canoe.
“Yes, I am. Can I help you?” Freeman asked, getting up from his job.
“My name is Caroline Whitney. I was wondering if I could ask you a few questions about your experience out on the lake a few nights ago.”
“I’m... Not really in the mood to discuss it.” Mumbled Freeman, as he began working on tying down another canoe.
“Oh really? And why’s that? Is there something you’ve left out? Something... Vital?”
Rick turned to Caroline with absolute horror on his face, but Caroline didn’t notice.
“Caroline...” whispered Rick, realizing that this might not be the right way of questioning the witness. But it was too late, Freeman had stopped his activity and was now facing the kids, a bit on edge by Caroline’s attitude.
“What’s that suppose too mean?” barked the fisherman, taken a back.
“Oh, could be nothing. But it does look suspicious that you don’t want to talk.” Interrogated Caroline. Caroline had learned this interrogation method from Anatomy of Quackery. In it, Jill explains to never back down from a claimant of the paranormal, and to press them into telling the truth.
“Listen kid, I know what I saw!” yelled Dale. “And I’m not lying about it either! I don’t care what people think, that’s the truth! And if you don’t believe me, then get out of my sight! I have work to do!”
And just like that, Dale stormed down the peer, making his way to a set of drifting motor boats in desperate need of being tied down. Rick turned to Caroline, who just seemed bothered by the whole thing.
“Well...” simply said Caroline, as she folder arms and looked away from Freeman.
“Caroline!” yelled Rick, getting up in Caroline’s face, much to her dismay.
“Look there’s no point to interviewing these guys! It’s so obviously a hoax!” explained Caroline.
Rick had enough with Caroline’s attitude, and decided to take matters into his own hands. He walked around Caroline and ran up to Dale.
“Rick!” yelled Caroline, rather insulted. But Rick paid her no mind and dashed down the dock toward Dale.
“Excuse me sir.” Rick said calmly, as he approached Freeman. Freeman sprang around and snarled at Rick.
“I said beat it!” yelled Dale.
“Don’t pay any attention to her! I believe you! But you need to understand, you are one of the first people to see the Bish Bash Lake monster in over 30 years!” proclaimed Rick. This caught Freeman’s attention.
“Wait... Other people saw this thing?” asked Dale, turning away from his work.
“Yes, a long time ago! If you could just elaborate your story a little more, I could potentially find a pattern to the creature’s behavior and pin point where to look for it!”
Freeman was astonished. Though Rick was a kid, he sounded like he knew what he was talking about.
“All right... I’ll tell you.” Said Freeman. Caroline’s jaw dropped. Rick followed Dale over to a set of wooden chairs next to a small sitting area where the fishermen would eat their lunches.
Before they sat down, Rick took out his phone, raised it in the air, and did a selfie. He made sure to capture a very frustrated Caroline Whitney in the background. Caroline growled and walked away from the whole dock. Not because her presence would upset the fisherman, but she didn’t want to be in ear shot of the man’s insane story.
Rick across from Freeman and had his phone’s memos recording app on.
“So tell me from the start.” Began Rick. “Why were you and your partner out on the lake so late at night?”