Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Instant Karma — Part 3

Instant Karma ... The Lives of Trehorn Sandhu-Smythe

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, places, or actual events is purely coincidental.

— Life 16039 —

Trehorn swam idly around his new-found home. It was quite posh, by Trehorn's standards, with a tie-dyed psychedelic castle stuck in the bottom gravel of his fish bowl. Trehorn could hide just inside the drawbridge, if he so wanted, or he could just swim right through it as he looped the loop around the glass bowl. At first, he had trouble navigating his way without hitting his nose on the glass sides, but after a few bruises, he had learned his lesson.

Every so often, something a little unsettling, if not downright frightening, made Trehorn head for the safety of his tie-dyed psychedelic castle. The face of Marsha Jewel Ambrose would appear just outside the far glass wall, and she would press her pug nose against the glass and make her lips pucker and unpucker as if she were swimming like a giant carp through the side of the bowl. Then she would use one of her sticky fingers to tap on the glass. For Trehorn, every tap sounded like someone was lighting up a cannon and sending an unearthly charge through the water. His caudal peduncle would tremble and his tiny heart would skip a beat.

Other days, Marsha Jewel Ambrose would sit by the bowl and talk to him. She called him "Goldie," which Trehorn thought a little less than original, but fitting. He was not exactly gold in colour, more of an orange calico, since he wore splotches of white and black down his sides, but Trehorn was not given to being pretentious, and he came to like both his name and the girl who fussed over him. He especially admired how she paid strict attention to feeding time. Every morning, as she wandered around her room while sifting through piles of clothes, she would come over to his bowl and shake some kind of aromatic flakes into the water.

Trehorn would squiggle round and round his tie-dyed psychedelic castle and slurp up these flakes before they reached the bottom gravel and disappeared. Most days, he was lucky enough to gulp down enough flakes to sustain him through the day. Other days, he would be less lucky, and by nightfall, he would feel weak and find his ability to swim straight up increasingly difficult. These were the days of the titled swim, somewhat like doing the breaststroke with one hand.

Then one day, Trehorn's luck went from bad to worse. His morning feeding had been disastrous. By nightfall, he was so hungry that he began foraging through the gravel for some leftover flakes of food. To his dismay, he sucked in a piece of red gravel, which caught somewhere along his digestive tract and refused to budge. Within seconds to minutes, Trehorn felt something pop in his pyloric cecum, and his small body shuddered rather drastically. Trehorn knew something was amiss when his tilted swim turned into an upside down swim. To the best of his knowledge, goldfish were not supposed to be able to do the backstroke, but there he was, spinning wrong side up, and quickly floating to the top of the bowl.

As the sun rose the next morning, Marsha Jewel Ambrose screamed in terror when she saw her best friend, Goldie, floating upside down on the water's surface. She poked her sticky finger into the water and pushed Trehorn down, as if this would somehow send him right side up again. For a moment, the girl's primitive attempt at CPR seemed to work. Trehorn was right side up, but only for a moment. His tiny gills pumped at the water, and then quit. Over he went. Upside down once again.

Marsha Jewel Ambrose's scream resonated through the entire house. Jane Elsie Ambrose-Navarro, Marsha's mother, was in the bathroom when she heard the girl's terrifying screech. She had been sitting on the toilet for a good hour, during which time, she had been praying to Jesus that she might pass a knot of feces through her colon sometime before noon. Marsha Jewel Ambrose's scream not only shocked the life out of her, it also immediately emptied her bowels and sent what one could only describe as an Oh! Henry bar on steroids splashing beneath her.

Ms Ambrose-Navarro suddenly felt light as air, and she leapt into action. She scrambled into her nightgown and ran down the hallway to her daughter's bedroom. When she swung the door open , she found Marsha Jewel Ambrose lying on her back while kicking her legs and beating her arms against the floor. At first glance, it appeared that the girl was having a seizure. The truth of the matter is that Marsha Jewel Ambrose was simply doing some kind of dryland backstroke in what could only be called a paroxysmal parody of Trehorn's dilemma.

Trehorn squinted out of his glazed eye and saw what he dreaded most. Jane Elsie Ambrose-Navarro was manoeuvring a small green net attached to a long yellow handle around the fish bowl. In no time at all, she had him doubled over in the plastic webbing. She lifted him out of the water, and Trehorn emitted what, for goldfish, would be considered a massive fart. The piece of red gravel slipped out of his anus and into the net. Suddenly, Trehorn felt renewed, but sadly, Jane Elsie Ambrose-Navarro failed to notice. She carried Trehorn quickly down the hallway to the bathroom and deposited him unceremoniously into the toilet, where Trehorn lay on top of what appeared to be a large brown trout.

Trehorn held his breath as best as he could, and then the inevitable happened. Jane Elsie Ambrose-Navarro pushed down the toilet's lever, and Trehorn found himself cycling down into a dark pit.

Down, down, and down he tumbled, until at last he caught a glimmer of light seeping into the darkness, and for some reason, he simply couldn't stop barking.



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