My first three fish, a Christmas present from my lovely parents, died one by one. Their names were Psycho Fish, Emo Fish, and Ditzy Fish.
Psycho Fish habitually picked on the other two fish. Emo Fish and Ditzy Fish assassinated Psycho Fish in such a manner that I could not implicate them.
Emo Fish, depressed at having no mission in life anymore, committed suicide only weeks after Psycho Fish’s untimely demise.
Ditzy Fish, generally unaware of the dramas of the other fish, continued living for several weeks, happily floating about the tank, all alone.
However, loneliness eventually got to Ditzy Fish. One day I came home from school to see him sitting listlessly on the bottom of the tank.
I panicked. My last fish, who had really grown on me, was starting to look like a miniature pinecone.
I swirled the water with a Taco Bell spork, yelling at Ditzy Fish. “Don’t die,” I cried in my desperation, “You’re the last fish I have left!”
Alas, my lively yells of encouragement were to no avail. Ditzy Fish continued to spiral downward, and within a few hours, he stopped responding to my currents and prods.
At this point, I was so discouraged with fish-keeping that I dubbed the practice morbid, and left my tank vacant.
After a couple of weeks, however, I got tired of the empty tank sitting on my bookshelf, almost mocking me. “Look,” it said, “you’re a terrible pet owner. You can’t even keep fish alive.”
Well, no one should put up with that sort of mockery.
I went to Wal-Mart and purchased three new fish, two small and one big. The first casualty died only days after I brought him home. He was inconsequential; I can’t even remember what I named him.
The other two fish, a big pale pink one who remains nameless and a small neon pink one named Vegas Fish lived happily for many weeks, even accepting two snails into their occupancy. I thought they were going to last for several months.
But no, the voracity of Unnamed Fish outweighed the desire of Vegas Fish to live.
I came home from class one Wednesday to discover that Unnamed Fish had not only murdered but also cannibalized Vegas Fish. The pretty neon pink fins and tail had been chewed off.
I cried out in shock and horror. I knew that fish sometimes engaged in this sort of behavior, but I had never been subjected to it in so personal a manner before.
I flushed Vegas Fish down the porcelain with many regrets and complaints.
Unnamed fish is now called Hannibal Fish, the Cannibal.
Keeping fish really is morbid. Hopefully Hannibal doesn’t eat the snails.
You may contact Bethany Hargrove at firstname.lastname@example.org