Writing Prompt: You buy a fish tank from a mysterious man for your newly bought fish, the next day you wake up and realise you’ve been turned into a fish and are with other fish who have made the same mistake…
“Would someone mind explaining just exactly what is going on here?” Bentley blubbered, and he blubbered on account of the fact he was trapped inside of an enormous fish bowl… or was it that he had been shrunken down, and the fish bowl was in fact of average size? No, how absurd, if the fish bowl was of average size then how would you explain the gargantuan furniture beyond the bowl, and the God-sized woman sat reading the paper before a heavenly sized fire?
“Anyone?” Bentley dove to the right, eyeing up a rather suspect looking star fish that was keeping awfully quiet, “That’s right, I’m looking at you.”
“I don’t think Harry much cares,” an ill looking blow fish bobbed up in line with Bentley’s face, “since Joshua left him he hasn’t cared a whole lot about anything. Shame really, awfully nice starfish was Harry.”
Harry let out a stream of bubbles that could have been considered a sigh, but was in fact the result of having eaten a rotten pebble.
“Alright, now I’ve seen it all, a talking blow fish!” Bentley chuckled politely, “No offence, I don’t mean to insinuate that you’re at all odd but, well where I come from blow fish aren’t in the habit of talking.”
“It’s far more likely that you’re simply not in the habit of listening.” the blow fish folded its fins in a way that ought not be possible, “Would you like to hear what happened to Joshua?”
“No need to apologise, I was only asking.” the blow fish seemed quite offended by Bentley’s outburst, “Now would you like to know, or not?”
“Sure.” Bentley tried to shrug, and only then realised that he didn’t have any shoulders with which to do so, “What on Earth…” he searched frantically for a reflection, and settled upon a puddle inside of a pocket of air inside of a clam. And what he saw was quite astounding, at least to those that hadn’t seen a trout (or any other fish for that matter) before.
Bentley saw in his reflection that not only had he been trapped inside of an enormous fish bowl, but that he had also been transformed into a fish, that fish being a trout.
“It’s quite unremarkable, really.” the blow fish surmised.
“I’d beg to differ!” Bentley argued.
The blow fish, who announced quite at random that its name was Shirley, gave Bentley a slap, “You’re far too self absorbed, I’m not talking about your transformation, I’m talking about what happened to Joshua.”
“To hell with Joshua!” Bentley cried.
And Harry cried, too.
“Watch your mouth.” Shirley barked (or blubbered), feigning to slap Bentley again.
“Please,” Bentley begged, “enough with the slapping. It’s far too wet and I must say I don’t like the feel of your fins.”
“I’ve never had any complaints before.” Shirley puckered her lips in defiance, “Big fish like little fins.”
“I thought it was cardboard boxes?” Bentley offered.
“Never mind.” Bentley found himself watching the giant of a woman reading the paper by the fireplace. She looked familiar, but he couldn’t quite say why. “I believe,” he floundered, “that you were about to tell me about Joshua.”
“I was.” Shirley nodded, which was terribly difficult to do without any sort of neck, “It is, as I’m sure I’ve mentioned, quite an unremarkable tale.”
“I’m all ears.”
“No you’re not.” Shirley took a quick dive around Bentley to make sure.
“It’s an expression.” Bentley sighed, which came out in a series of bubbles that Shirley mistook as the result of having eaten a rotten pebble.
“Rotten pebble?” she inquired.
“I most certainly am not.” Bentley had had about enough of this self righteous, happy slapping, name calling, story avoiding blow fish, and so he tried to swim out through the glass. As you might know, fish are ill equipped to swim through glass. They are not, for example, rays of light which have a far easier time swimming through transparent surfaces.
“That was silly.” Shirley couldn’t help but laugh at the trout with a lump sticking out of its head, “Does it hurt?” she gently slapped the lump.
“No, not at all.” Bentley scowled.
“Oh, good.” Shirley slapped the lump again.
At this point the woman by the fire had discarded of the paper and was playing with a jar of olives.
“That’s Gillian.” Shirley advised, and on the matter said no more.
Gillian! Bentley thought, adding the name to the face, coming up with the vague memory of a carnival.
“If I recall,” Bentley began, truly believing that someone (who wasn’t a blow fish) somewhere (that wasn’t inside of an enormous fish bowl) was listening to him, and was mildly interested in what he had to say, “then Gillian is the sister of this rather odd fellow who sold me a fish bowl. The bowl was far bigger than I needed, seeing as I bought but a single fish…”
“You mentioned the mole on her face, didn’t you?” Shirley’s tone was accusing.
“Yes, that’s right! Gillian came in just as I was selecting a bowl… how could I not? The damn thing was enormous. I didn’t mean to offend her, I thought that buying a bigger bowl from her brother would settle the score between us.” Bentley shuddered at the memory of that brown bulge lifting from Gillian’s top lip surfaced in his mind, “You don’t mean to tell me that she’s the reason I’m in here.”
“She’s the reason we’re all in here.” Shirley shook her head, which again was terribly difficult considering she still didn’t have any sort of a neck, “Turns out Gillian over there is some sort of witch, and doesn’t take kindly to offence of her appearance.”
“She’s some kind of witch alright.” Bentley hissed, “But why fish?”
“Isn’t it obvious? Her brother owns an aquarium, it’s good for business. Now,” Shirley composed herself, settling down on an outcrop of rockery, “would you like to hear about what happened to Joshua?”
“No, not really.” and with that Bentley swam as far from Shirley as was humanly possible, which wasn’t very far, and on account of him being a fish wasn’t exactly humanly possible either.
Copyright © K R Perry 2019