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31st July
posted by amber

Pet Fish Funeral

The kids were devastated, Amee especially. Kurt tried to hide his sadness by lashing out against the younger two: “You overfed him! I told you not to give him so much.”

But I knew it was really my fault. I’d told one of the other waitresses at work about Nemo and she said that fish were too much trouble, what with having to keep the tank clean and filtered, and having to let the chlorine and flouride get out of the tap water before you used it.

“Oh, yeah,” I agreed, but this was news to me. I thought you just got water and put the fish in. Ed at the pet store hadn’t said any different. He was too busy trying to look down the front of my blouse. And I’d liked it, the way he flirted with me.

And I’d liked that I was getting a pet for my kids. The last year’s been really hard on them, and it felt like we were getting back to a normal life, what with a pet for them and a job for me, and our apartment, not exactly a palace but it’s ours.

And now Nemo is dead. He’ll never grow to be six inches long like Ed said he would. The kids have painted an old shoe box and we’re going to bury him under the apple tree at my mother’s house.

It was stupid to get a fish. Maybe I could afford all those filters and things and figure out how to make the water safe for a fish, but it’s too much trouble when I’m working and everything. The Animal Shelter is giving away free kittens. If we never let it go outside, the landlord will never know.

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story posted every day on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line suggestions in the Comment section.

This story was inspired by the title of a piece of spam that I received.

1 Comment

  1. 01/08/2011

    As requested, a suggested prompt:

    She was dragged from an already broken sleep by the sound of someone softly crying.

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