Monday, May 23, 2011

Gateway Journal Day 06: Nightfishing

So, after my ordeal the other night, I had to spend today talking to an overworked detective in the local Citywatch Station. Lately, there apparantly have been increased incidents of some sort of underground anarchy group that is tagging walls and knocking over streetlamps and such throughout the city.

The sense I get is that in many other neighborhoods people just deal with it and get on with their lives, but around here, in Canal City, folks tend to get a little more upset about this stuff disturbing their little paradise. I guess I don't blame them, but at the same time, it seems like a lot of real crime (like getting mugged at blunderbuss-point) gets overshadowed by Mrs. Klenderring's overturned flowerpots..... which may or may not even have anything to do with these so-called anarchists.

So my day was pretty much shot. When the sun was going down, I went in search of something that I could draw at night, braving the evening hours despite my ordeal from the night before..... can't live in constant fear... besides, now I am armed.

Anyways, I lucked out because last night, many of the canals in the neighborhood were lit up with thousands of lanterns of the Nightfishermen. Nightfishing is a long-held tradition here in Gateway, and on certain nights of the month (I think the moon cycle has something to do with which nights are the best) people travel from all over the city to go to the most popular spots... some of the best are here in Canal City.

It is so ingrained into the folklore and history of Gateway, that several little religions and cults have sprung up around the tradition, and often predictions about the future are made based on what kinds of fish are caught, how many are caught, and how big the fish are....

There were so many boats packed into the main canals, it was hard to find a good subject to focus on, so I wandered the lesser-traveled canals and found a small boat that really epitomized the bizarre and somewhat humorous nature of this tradition. I asked another onlooker if he knew anything about this particular boat. He said he thinks the leader of this particular Nightfishing cult believes that it is his destiny to one day catch a giant squid in the canals, something that has been rumored to have occurred once in the History of Gateway, over 300 years ago. The day after it was caught, an enormous tidal wave crashed into the city and wiped out entire neighborhoods. I suppose this particular Nightfisherman draws some sort of connection between the two events.

This night, thankfully, no giant squid was caught.