03 May Taletober 9: Juicy Sweet
Inspired by @darrenmacalvert (and J.R.R. Tolkien)
The pool was cold and dark as the fish made another gradual circle, looking for fresh patches of algae to graze. Such growths were few and far between, as hardly any light reached the pool and what did was made pale and ghostly by its winding journey through cracks in the cave’s ceiling.
Water had followed the light down along the same paths, slowly filling the depression in the rocks where the pool now stood. The fish had swum there so long that even if they had attempted to record their own history, the story of how they came to live in the cave was still likely to have been lost. But the fish had neither the capacity nor the care for such undertakings, they simply existed, the rocky shore the limit of their world.
And beyond that limit was the creature. The fish knew little of him. Through ripples and faded light, they could only make out a grey shape that loomed above the shallow water. But they knew its hands well. Dark and cracked with gnarled bones showing through the skin, like their own bones in their tales.
On rare occasions, they could see a flash of color, the only color they would ever see apart from their light green algae. It was a small ring of shining gold that the creature seemed to speak to. In their world so starved of light, its brilliance was something they could not begin to comprehend and yet they felt drawn to it.
The fish could not understand the language of men, but had lived long enough to develop a natural wisdom that could read the signs and omens of their small world. When the creature sang its song at the water’s edge it was always the same, and they could feel the telltale vibrations moving through the water, urging them to dive to safety.
The words they could not understand grew softer as they sunk into the darkness, but would not end until the hands crashed through the surface and reduced their number by one. “Our only wish
To catch a fish
So juicy sweet”