- Vol. 03
- Chapter 02
Image by Philipp Keller/Stelzer Group/EMBL
In AquariumThe aquarium swallowed him whole. He was a fish out of water - in water - and he was still getting his bearings when the lights shut out.
"Come here often?" a small crab asked him from the depths.
"I don't know what here is," the fish said, whipping tail in a mad circle swim, hoping for some kind of escape.
"That's what they all say," the crab responded, clicking his claws - a kind of slow-clap. "Probably you were swimming with your shoal, bang a net caught you, bang you went hither and dither in plastic bags, bang you dropped in here. That's how it usually goes."
He looked at the crab. The crab's eyes were out on stalks. At least he had some company.
"What do I do now?"
"What do you do now?" The small crab scratched its smooth armour-plated head with a claw. "I should say you swim around in a circle, shitting where you like, eating that crap flaky dandruff they pour in, and hoping for the love of the aquarium that they change the water once in a while."
The crab released bubbles from its slat mouth. The fish swam with the bubbles to the top of the tank, where the water rippled and rose gently in its usual way. This isn't so bad, thought the fish. I can get used to this. He scooped up a flake or two and swallowed. He shot shit pellets out into the dark. As he looked up, he thought he could make out two huge, watery eyes staring down at him.
What did that crab say again? he thought to himself.