The old winch groaned under the strain of a full net. Captain Willis sighed. A heavy haul was a bad sign.
“Well, that’s the last cast this season, probably the last I’ll ever do.” He had said the same thing the year before.
The net cleared the ship’s deck. It bulged with the unmistakable quiver of a thousand tire-sized jellies, each one a tiny ecosystem. We dumped them into the shaker tray that violently separated the worthless goo from the precious catch.
I grabbed a few jellies to measure before tossing them over the side. They were smaller this year, a good sign. Something was eating them.
I turned back to the shaker. The captain was smiling. At the bottom of the catch bin were eight hollow-eyed shrimp, the largest haul we’d had all week. At current market price, they would cover the repairs to the winch, with a little left over for fuel. We counted sixty-seven hollow-eyes in the Miss Amy’s hold. It had been a very good week.
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