So it turned out that the fish story was not finished. or maybe it was like, I thought it was a standalone book, but then there turned out to be a sequel. Whatever. Point is, I know I didn't post again as soon as I promised, but I swear, there was more trauma, and it took me, like, twice as long to get over this trauma. But finally, here it is in all its glory!
So, one of my new house-mates has 3 fish. She has carefully moved them over from her old house to the new one. She has set them up in her room, and they look pretty happy. Problem is, she's going away to Dubai for the summer, because that's where her dad works. so she asks another house-mate to look after them over summer. And this other house-mate agrees. But then this other house-mate decides to go away for the weekend. Now, because I'm still in town, I reassure the first house-mate and tell her I'll check in on the fish and make sure they have food. So I go to the house, let myself in, find the key from the empty washing powder tub, and unlock my house-mate's room. The weather recently has been scorching - think weeks of unbroken sun, with little wind and no rain. So when i go into her room, it's pretty warm. The curtain diagonally across from the tank is open, and sunlight is streaming directly into the tank, which is a no-no for fish. So I go round, open all the windows and close all the curtains.
Then I go to the tank. I have a quick peer inside, looking for a long-term feeder - you can get fish feeders which last 1-2 months, or pellets which last a few days. I can't see anything like that, so I lift off the lid of the tank to take a look, in case the feeder is floating near the top. And the smell that hits me is just foul. I know you often read in books about a stench of death and how awful it is, but this didn't smell like I imagined the stench of death would. It just kind of smelt like a sweaty composting bin. Nothing major about that, in this weather, but I make a mental note to myself that fish really smell. Then I see it. One of the fish is lying on its side. It's resting on top of the water filter and looks really, really ill. so I give it a prod (with my bare finger, I know, DON'T JUDGE ME!) and it floats out into the main tank. Still on the surface of the water, still on it's side. The other two fish are swimming around fairly calmly, but this one seems... Dead. Really dead. Like, so dead that bits of it start falling off - or rather, floating off since the water stops them from actually falling! and I swear, for a moment my heart stops. we haven't even started living together yet, but I have to tell my new house-mate that her fish is dead. It feels like a surreal moment. I get my mobile out, dial her number, and wait. No answer. I try again. still nothing. so I go onto facebook, and message her, saying, "one of your fish is dead. I'm really sorry but what do I do?" And then I ring my best friend, who, I know, had a fish when she was younger...
H: Hey, what's up
Me: Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! I don't know what to do! Oh my goodness...
H: Oh my goodness, what's wrong hun? Are you alright?
Me: It's dead! And it's not even mine!
H: Wait, what's dead?!
Me: My house-mate's fish is dead! And I found it! And she's not here!
H: ...your house-mate's fish is dead? Have you told her?
Me: I tried, but she didn't answer, so I left her a facebook message saying I'm sorry but her fish is dead. (cue much laughter)
So she kills herself laughing whilst I panic about what to do with the dead fish and how to tell my house-mate. And in the end I fish the dead fish out with a net, change all the water and then ring the house-mate again; and this time she answers...
L: hey, which fish is it?
me: The black one.
L: Are you sure it's dead? because he likes to pretend to be dead a lot. He's like a dog.
Me: He's definitely dead. Really, really dead.
L: Okay, you can flush him or bury him. I'm really sorry!
Me: It's okay, I'm really sorry too!
So, the fish ends up in the washing powder tub, and my house-mate's keys go into a different box for safekeeping. I take the washing powder tub outside, thinking I'll bury the fish. And as I get outside I realise I have nothing to dig a hole with. But, since I haven't seen the garden, I take a wander round it, past the burnt out bonfire of mattress springs, through the lumpy, bumpy grass, and round the trees. And I stick my foot in a hole. It's like the kind of hole that an animal lives in, like a rabbit or a rat or something. And as I'm stood there, I begin to think that actually, it's about the same size as the washing powder tub. In fact, it would fit in there really nicely. and I can bury it later. Stop judging me! I was in shock! So I stick the tub in the hole, cover it with dead grass so nobody would be any the wiser, and make a swift exit. I check on the surviving fish one last time, then leave.
And there I thought my story ended. But apparently not. Some author thought that this story needed a sequel, and the sequel was about as welcome as Saw 2, 3 and 4.
So moving day finally arrives for me. I've packed all my stuff, hired a van, and I'm all moved over. I realise something crucially important: moving is awful. There must be a section of hell reserved for people who leave houses without paying their rent, where they're constantly packing and moving and unpacking and packing and moving and unpacking, for all eternity. But anyway, all my stuff is brought up and dumped outside my room, and in a moment of procrastination decide to check on my house-mate's remaining fish. the other house-mate messaged me in the week before I moved asking about the location of the key to feed the fish, so my visit is just cursory, really.
I retrieve the key, unlock her bedroom door, and go to the tank. Immediately, I can see one of the 2 month feeders in there. But... I can't see any fish. You would think, you would think I have learned my lesson from last time. It's like watching a scary movie, when you're yelling, DON'T TURN YOUR BACK! DON'T TRUST HIM, HE'S OBVIOUSLY THE KILLER! and so on. I lifted the lid of the tank. And there started a second phone call to the wife which also ended with her in fits of laughter as I hysterically shrieked at her down the phone, "THEY'RE DEAD, THEY'RE ALL DEAD! THE OTHER TWO FISH ARE DEAD!"
I could go on, but I feel that the sequel had a very predictable storyline, which very much mirrored the first book, and was the author's excuse to add more gore. The ending was unsatisfying, and the entire plot lacked climax or resolution. But it does have a moral, which is NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER GET FISH. EVER.
Tomorrow I'll show you my latest sewing exploits and some other fun things!
Love love xx