Ogopogo, a short story 

Fourth in a series of short stories, anticipating Whistler's Writers Fest

Thoreau went to the woods to live deliberately. And Whistler, it seems, is the place to come if you want to write deliberately. The fifth Whistler Writers Festival, Sept. 14-17, is a hyper-literate jam-packed long-weekend for readers, writers, closeted scribblers and anyone looking for a fresh perspective. From manuscript workshops and daily seminars to evening readings with Canada’s best authors, the festival has something for everyone.

Here, in Pique’s special Word Made Flesh, four local writers come out of their closets. The series is a prelude to Writers in the Flesh, three incredible readings at Millennium Place, featuring the Chair of the Council of Canadians, Maude Barlow ( Too Close For Comfort: Canada’s Future Within Fortress North America; Blue Gold: The Fight to Stop Corporate Theft of the World’s Wate r) on Thursday, Sept. 14 at 8 p.m., Joseph Boyden ( Three Day Road) on Friday, Sept. 15, 8 p.m., and Eden Robinson (Blood Sports) Saturday, Sept. 16 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10. Or buy the trifecta for $25. Book tickets to the events at www.theviciouscircle.ca , or contact Stella Harvey at 604-932-4518 or stella25@telus.net





By Gregory Mark Schroeder

What some call the cousin of the Loch Ness Monster I saw from the shore of Okanagan Lake the summer of my sixteenth year. I was working for a carpenter named Guido, a taut plug of muscle and emotion, building a house no more than one hundred feet from the beach.

In those years, you might not see a cloud for six weeks and the temperature would climb over a hundred degrees every day. We wore cut-offs, steel-toed work boots and leather pouches that we stripped off at lunch time to run into the water and wash off the sawdust that clung to our sweat.

Okanagan Lake is deep, more than fifteen hundred feet in places, and long too, ninety miles in the shape of a ragged “S” that stretches from Vernon to Penticton, with Kelowna and the floating bridge in the middle. When they built the bridge and the divers were attaching the cables that anchored the hollow sections of concrete on top to the solid blocks of concrete that steadied it from two hundred feet below, sturgeon, sometimes eight feet long, would mingle with the men, but they were docile giants. Occasionally, when the span that lifted to let boats and barges through was raised, a car would not stop and for seven days we would wait. Then the bodies would float to the surface. Always seven days. The lake gave up its secrets in its own time. Okanagan Lake is the home of the Ogopogo.

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