Something Fishy by Jill Waters

Jim looked at the fish on the plate. Did she expect him to eat that? With its staring eye - a blank, gazing admonishment? It still had its fins. No doubt it had its innards too. No, he wouldn't eat it. As he looked, the eye moved - rolling in its socket to look at him. ‘That bloody thing's alive!' Jim shouted.

‘Don't be ridiculous. I caught it this morning. Of course it’s not alive!’ said his wife.

’It's watching me. Look!’ He moved around the kitchen. The fish's eye followed him.

'I don't know what you're talking about, Jim’

‘You can't see its eye moving?’

'Of course not. It's dead!’

Jim sank to the floor. He was losing his mind. In his head he seemed to hear the fish’s thoughts. Did they even have thoughts? he wondered. ‘It's still watching me, Annie,’ Jim said, ‘I can’t resist those eyes.’ Annie reached for her filleting knife. Jim knew he had to save it. It was still alive

Standing up, he grabbed the fish and headed to the door. 'What the hell?’ shouted Annie after him, but Jim did not stop. He ran through the village towards the lake. Reaching its banks, he threw the fish in. He waited, hoping for some sort of acknowledgement, a raised and grateful fin before it disappeared into the depths. But the fish didn't move. It floated on the surface, a blind, unmoving object. Of course it was dead. And at once he knew that the demons had returned - the ones that lived in his broken mind.

Jim felt a hand on his shoulder. Annie. ‘Come on, love. Let’s go home. I’ll make us cheese on toast instead.’

Selected: Weekly Write #14
Published in Issue #29

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