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Christina "Mina" Smith

Published Writer, Blogger, and Analytics Goddess

5

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The Grey Day / The Golden Fish

The Grey Day

She sat, her hair pressed against the lavishly carved chair railing of her sitting room. The ceiling looked rather distant, but somehow still oppressively close. She was alone, the seams of her grey skirts beginning to seep into the grey paint of the walls.

It was raining again, the teardrops splattered dully against the window, over and over. The rain distorted the view through the window, twisting the world into a kaleidoscope of grey things, blobs of gray over grey, with darker grey smatterings, and tilted grey towers.

How long had it been since she'd moved? Perhaps since this morning. She couldn't remember.

A click, the sound loud and riotous after the long silence dabbled with water drips. Click, clank, squeak. Such noise! What was the noise? The door? It was the heavy sitting room door. She'd thought it rusted shut and too covered in dust to move. 

She didn't turn her head to investigate; her hair, dull and black, was growing into the shadows, making it difficult to move her head.

"Good evening, my lady," the voice was like a song; it grated on her so. Who was speaking? She managed to tilt her head, ever so slightly.

"Good evening." She answered, almost automatically. Was it evening? Her voice was tired, grown old with disuse.

A girl stood at the foot of her chaise, lit brightly from a candle in her hand. "How are you feeling this evening, my lady?"

But she watched, just watched. The smiling child went around to all of the candles, lighting the room with warm yellows and flickering orange. The girl was dressed all in red, from head to toe, her green eyes twinkling with merry.

The girl finished lighting the candles. "Supper is almost up, my lady." She curtsied, just a bit, a look of something wild in her eyes.

She sat up to watch her leave, and saw that the colors remained in the room, long after the little girl had left.

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The Golden Fish

Wonda was beautiful. He had been eying her for years. She was perfect, her tiny fins frail like butterfly wings, the crown of her head crested with a gossamer, golden headdress. She was a goddess. Perfect in every way.

Carl had never swum into her line of sight, but he wondered if she'd noticed him anyway, swimming around. His color wasn't quite so orange and his scales didn't shimmer like hers. But he was intelligent. Carl was the smartest in their school; certainly that would catch her attention. Even if she didn't know him by sight, she might know him by reputation.

The school swam east, so Wonda swam east, her movements graceful and grand, like she was waving to a crowd from a parade. She was beautiful, and Carl just had to talk to her. The school slowed in tandem for lunch.

"Wonda?" He asked, clearing his throat. He began to tip to one side as she turned toward him. When he was nervous, his left fin would move faster than his right, and he had to take a deep breath to keep himself steady in the water. "I'm Carl and you are the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. Would you like to swim with me this evening?"

He winced, as though expecting a blow. But she couldn't be like the other fish, so willing to be part of the crowd, so stupid and empty-headed. He was tried of swimming with the crowd, he wanted to get out and be someone, become something special, to forget all these airheads. 

But he didn't want to go at it alone.

Wonda blew a bubble at him, her eyes blank and without understanding as she picked up a pebble from the river bed, sucking on it for a minute before spitting it back to the ground, and swimming away.

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