Between the bringe and the river, craig ferguson

BETWEEN THE BRIDGE AND THE RIVER

CRAIG FERGUSON

BETWEEN THE BRIDGE AND THE RIVER

A NOVEL

This is a work of fiction. Names, places, characters, and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictionally. Any resemblance to actual people, places, or events is entirely coincidental.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data available.

EISBN: 978-0-8118-7303-1

Cover design by Volume Design, Inc.

Chronicle Books LLC

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San Francisco, California 94107

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This is for Milo.

A love so big I couldn’t run.

And for his great-great-grandfather

Adam.

APOLOGIA

This story is true. Of course, there are many lies therein and most of it did not happen, but it’s all true.

In that sense it is deeply religious, perhaps even biblical.

HISTORY

Nine of the first thirteen signatures on the

American Declaration of Independence were from Scotsmen or men of Scottish descent.

CONFESSION

Is a sacred rite enhanced by allegory, exaggeration, and lies.

TIME

Is only linear for engineers and referees.

SCIENCE

The laws of physics state that given the mass-to-wingspan ratio of a bumblebee, it is impossible for the creature to fly. But it does.

ALPHA WOLVES

CLOVEN-HOOFED CREATURES passed this way.

They were never sure what kind. Some weird brainy kid like Gordy McFarlane or Freckle Machine might know but Fraser and George’s limited information about wildlife came from children’s television and the free posters that they got with their Pathfinder shoes. The ones with the little compass in the heels that they wouldn’t be caught dead wearing now. Those were for kids. Thirteen isn’t a kid anymore, you can’t walk around with wee plastic compasses in your heels, not if you ever want to get off with Sharon Cameron and maybe feel her diddies.

No compass would point you in that direction; you have to do that kind of thing for yourself or get your friend to tell her you like her and see how that goes.

Toys, crying, and novelty footwear were definitely out.

Fishing was still okay, though, thank God.

They jumped over the muddy track where the cattle, unicorns, satyrs, and devils had trodden and headed down the shingle footpath to the canal.

The Forth and Clyde Canal connects the east and west coasts of Scotland and had, for a tiny moment in history, been used as a means of industrial and commercial transport. Horse-drawn barges carrying coal or machine parts or sheep.

The barges were long gone by the 1970s and the man-made waterway that cuts through the green valleys of the country’s central belt had become a mecca for amateur anglers.

Professional anglers prefer a body of water that’s stocked with more than a broken pram and some old tires.

The canal was reputed to contain two types of fish. Perch, a small, tasteless lump of tiny bones – a kind of aquatic hamster – and pike, a big, nasty, admittedly delicious freshwater shark that liked to eat perch.

It seemed to Fraser and George that both species were totally fictional; neither boy had seen or caught one of these elusive slitherers and they had never seen anyone else catch anything either.



Between the bringe and the river, craig ferguson