Where the Giant Lobsters Lie

by Kasra Omid-Zohoor

lobsterIt was Ash’s idea to check out the science museum, even though between the two of us, I was the more scientific one. So we floated from one room to the next like two pieces of driftwood until our eyes locked on the largest lobster ever caught in Boston. It was tucked away in the corner of the deep sea exhibit, under a thick glass case next to the rusted propeller of an old navy submarine.

The hulking lobster stretched out longer than a rifle, and its shell was dark brown with green patches like a decaying log spotted with moss. Two antennas extended from its head to its armored tail, but one was slightly shorter than the other. The sign said that the lobster weighed 42 pounds and 7 ounces when it was hauled to the surface in 1934. Most lobsters, it said, are caught close to the shore in traps, but this one was tangled in a trawl net under 500 feet of water.

“I wonder if they still get this big,” I said.

“Here it says that lobsters keep growing throughout their lives,” said Ash.

“Probably there are more traps out for them now though.”

“Maybe the giant lobsters are just hiding.”

I didn’t say anything and felt her eyes search my face.

“Why, there could be one lying under that bridge right now,” she continued, pointing out the window to the Charles River below. Through the heavy fog, the yellow lights on the bridge twinkled like candles on a birthday cake.

I laughed and said, “I’m not sure lobsters like freshwater.”

Her eyes burned. “That’s exactly what they want you to think!”

I held my smile as Ash hugged my belt.

“I bet the fisherman was stoked to capture this guy during the Great Depression,” I said.

“You only see shooting stars on the darkest nights,” she replied, but in her reflection I saw the corners of her mouth relax.

“Check out those claws!” I exclaimed.

“Yeah big pinchers like yours,” she said, making her hands into little claws and snapping them. I squeezed her left claw softly.

“Maybe you’re right, maybe we just don’t know where to look,” I said.

“Yes, we must keep searching,” she stated, suddenly very serious as if describing a military rescue operation. “If we discovered one before, then we’ll find one again.”

I nodded and wanted to believe her. For a brief moment I even imagined an enormous lobster peeking out from a crack in the base of the bridge. But as we turned to walk away, it was I who stole a glance outside, and all I could think of was how hard it was going to be to drive back through the thickening fog.


Kasra Omid-Zohoor is a writer living in San Francisco, California. In his younger years, he studied modern American literature at Stanford University; his work has been published in Thick Jam, Postcard Shorts, *82 Review, and Apocrypha and Abstractions.
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