nce upon a time, there was a little boy with an aquarium.
He had wormy fish that burrowed in the sand, big lazy parade float fish that bobbed near the surface, and crabs, and snails, and tiny shrimp that combed the rocks and picked them clean.
Everybody had a role. There were no slackers, because each creature was pre-programmed by the Creator of the Universe to burrow, float and pick, and they would dream of doing nothing different.
The boy determined that some excitement was in order. So he went to the aquarium supply store and asked the man if there was any way to liven things up.
"Yes, my friend, there certainly is," said Harsha. "I have a fish for that."
So the little boy went home with a new fish, which was named “Little Neptune”, and dropped it into his tank. It sank to the bottom with a satisfying “ploop!” and immediately swam into a model shipwreck, where the boy couldn’t see it. And he promptly lost interest in his pets, as children do.
* * * *
Little Neptune started with the wormy burrowers, the blennies and gobies.
"Doesn’t it ever bother you that you live in the muck, and slurp shit from the substrate?" he asked them. "Haven’t you ever asked yourself why the big fish get to swim around like royalty while you clean up their filth?"
"That has always kind of bothered us," they admitted.
* * * *
"Check out those snails," said Little Neptune to the shrimps. "Gliding around leaving snot trails on the glass. Their food grows everywhere while you are forced to wait for the boy to bring pellets, and when he does, everyone else in the tank has already had first pick of it before it gets to you."
"That’s always been an issue," said the shrimps, "but what can you do?"
* * * *
Little Neptune asked the big floaty top feeders, “Don’t you ever feel exposed, vulnerable, hovering around at the top of the tank while those things in the rocks have a safe place to hide? If a monster comes here in the middle of the night, who do you think will be the first ones to go?”
"We’ve been thinking the same thing," they said.
* * * *
The boy came back the next day with a jar of Color Bits, a color enhancing pellet product guaranteed to inject a bit of excitement into his aquarium.
But instead of happy fish, he found a slurry of horrors - a chunky, bloody concoction of torn carapices and ruined scales, violated heads and floating eyes, lifeless bloated clots of pale white fish flesh and tragic, meat-flecked spines, as if the Creator of the Universe himself had dipped into his tank with an immersion blender and made Cream of Death soup. In the model shipwreck was the only survivor, Little Neptune.
"How interesting," said the boy.
- simianidiot posted this