Sea Trout
Brian Mihok

A table for two, Peter said. The hostess looked confused. My wife will be joining me, he said. The hostess seated him at a table near the door to the kitchen which Peter didn't mind but he did figure the hostess was teaching him some kind of lesson. The place seemed nice. A voice came over the speaker above the table. An opera. His wife was late. Ten minutes. Then twenty. He thought to call her but rationalized her lateness with the many reasons she had been late before. She was important to the back pages of several industry magazines, filling the space with ads for clothing and music players and creams. When she called to say she couldn't make it she told him to enjoy himself. She said it was her new favorite place to eat. Try the trout, she said. The fish came whole and it sat like an orange paddle on the plate. Peter wanted to think it was looking back at him but its eyes were cloudy and stared forever up like a saint awaiting a messiah.

Brian Mihok has had stories in Hobart, Metazen, Johnny America and others. He edits matchbook.

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Detail on main page from woodcut by Frans Masereel.

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