There was something fishy about the lake when the spring run-off had subsided, making the brook beyond the weir more like a river than the lazy meandering waterway Harold was used to. He dragged Felicia out to investigate.
“Fish,” she said.
Harold frowned. “Of course there’s fish,” he said. “It’s a purpose built lake stocked with the things. What about them?”
“There aren’t any,” said Felicia. “I can smell the memory of fish and the potential of fish and the bitter taste of fish that might have been, but there are no fish in this lake.”
“There must be.” Harold stared out across the water. “I spent upwards of twenty grand stocking this lake last year. What happened to them all? It can’t be herons, not that many fish, and they can’t all have swam and swam right over the dam.”
“No.” Felicia squatted down next to the edge of the lake. “Remember the tracks we found in the winter and the nest of eggs? There’s a predator in there that’s eating all your fish.”
“It’d have to be big,” said Harold. “We’re talking Loch Ness Monster aren’t we?”
“No.” Felicia shook her head. “I’d smell something like that. All I can smell is imps.”
“It’s a mystery,” said Harold, shaking his head. “We’ll have to drain the lake.”
Far away, in a small restaurant in Bangkok, Devious the imp used a damp cloth to wipe English trout off the menu board.