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The Gifts of Darkness
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"A viperfish?", Val replied.

"Ah -- yeah, you wouldn't know", Adrien started. "So, in the sea, there are these -- fish with a venomous spine on their back. They hide in the sand with only their spine out, and if you step on them, it really hurts".

"Oh, wow", Katia commented, impressed.

"It's usually nothing serious, though - the pain goes away in a day or so", Adrien added with a smile. "But -- yeah, so I had to get my diploma hopping on one foot", he chuckled.

"I'm sorry that happened", Val said - but Adrien noticed that there was a little bit of a chuckle to his voice as he said that.

"Why are you laughing?", he replied, mock resentment in his tone.

Val giggled with one hand in front of his mouth. "...You certainly do often... step into trouble".

Hala and Katia laughed; Adrien groaned.

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Posted on February 14th 2023.

The Gifts of Darkness - Chapter 18 - Page 28

Also known as weevers or spiderfish in English. Where I'm from in Italy we call them tracine. Even if certain areas of the Mediterranean may look as tame as a pool, beware: if there's sand and shallow waters, step carefully. They say the sting can be so painful that, in ancient times, fishermen would drown themselves rather than suffer the pain. In my experience, I'd say it feels more or less like a sudden second-degree burn. Though, I treaded gently. Adrien's adventure is somewhat based on when a friend of mine slammed her whole foot onto one of these fish, so much that the entire spine had to be extracted out of the foot... on the day of her birthday. A, I'm still so sorry that happened to you.

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