Apple Valley Review:
A Journal of
Contemporary Literature

ISSN 1931-3888

Volume 14, Number 2
(Fall 2019)

Copyright © 2019
by Leah Browning, Editor.

All future rights to
material published
in the
Apple Valley
are retained by
the individual authors
and artists.

Fiction by Tim Fitts

Fishing in the Gulf, and the sonar isn’t working.  We see the digital
interference on the screen, but it turns out to be rocks, or seaweed,
or fish—fish that don’t bite or won’t bite or don’t feel like biting,
but fish.  Somebody tells me I should not have brought along
bananas.  How am I to know which random food to bring or not
bring?  But as it happens at sea, your luck changes.  To our right,
a sea bird dives in, no splash, no sound.  Our first catch is grouper.  
One after the other.  Keep the big ones, toss the babies.  I hook
a black bass by the tongue, another through the gills.  We haul in
a succession of grunts, reds, and sheepshead.  The sheepshead teeth
so wide and dull they don’t look like a sheep’s head at all, they look
like a fish’s head, but grafted with the mouth of an old man, like an
old man who’s been drinking coffee and smoking his entire life and
bragging to his friends that he doesn’t do a damn thing for his teeth.  
Doesn’t brush, doesn’t floss.  Doesn’t go to the dentist, but look,
they’re all here.           


Tim Fitts lives and works in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  He is
the author of two short story collections, and his prose has been
published in
Granta, The Gettysburg Review, Boulevard,
Shenandoah, Prism International, New South, and other literary

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