Sorrows From a Fish Tank

The following is a contest entry in Scribophile.

Eulogy or obituary – your choice… Sha Na Na wants to be included… oh I see you are a Taurus… apparently you’re quite possessive? I think you should let it go… let it go… let it gooooooo… and include three lines from the song… to help and stuff.

In first person, present tense… to keep you in the moment… and a pet’s POV I think

Sha na na na, sha na na na na na

Emma’s voice rings around in my head. I picture her little blond pigtails bouncing as she sings the song, dancing around her room in her socks and pajamas.

“No one saw it coming. No one except me.” I try to remember what words I wanted to say. There was no sense in writing them down, I didn’t know how to write. Plus, the ink would have dissolved anyway. “My bright and beautiful human was taken too soon.

“I think back to my first day at home with Emma, her blue eyes and distorted features staring at me as her fingers tapped the glass of my tank constantly. I was afraid, so very afraid, but I had no place to hide. Instead, I just stared back at her.”

Sha na na na, sha na na na na na

“A few days later, I fell in love with my little Emma.” I gesture to the surroundings. “She gave me a house, and though her decorating skills were below par, I was happy. I played and danced for her throughout the plastic greenery as she laughed and sang that same Silhouettes song over and over again.”

Sha na na na, sha na na na na na

“Several months later, Emma came home from school crying. She sat in front of me, leaning her head on the tank as she sprinkled food for me on the surface. No matter how much I danced for her, she would not smile for me. Finally, I heard her gurgle.

‘You live in a kingdom of isolation.’

In less than an hour, Emma sprinkled more than just food into my world. She introduced me to three new friends.”

There was nothing but silence around me. Sadness rippled through the water.

“But Emma’s isolation was worse. She started throwing fits, destroying her room and tearing her decorations down.

‘Don’t let them in, don’t let them see,’ I would cry, begging for her attention. ‘Turn away and slam the door. Come be with me.’

And she would.”

I turn away from the crowd to hide my tears. I can feel Scuba staring at me still, that hollow helmet burning a hole in the back of my head. I should have buried him upside down long ago.

Sha na na na, sha na na na.

I look back at my patient observers. “That perfect girl is gone, suffering in her own kingdom of isolation. Now we understand how much love she gave us. Not only must we let it go, we must let ourselves go. We mourn Emma but we join her, together again soon.”

I allow the green net to pull me away from my home. Flipping, gasping, I try not to fight the inevitable. For a moment, I am free again. But this is what Emma must have felt as she left my world. Bright white surroundings and then a deafening sound as the world spins.

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