A Goldfish in a Bowl
By Clinton Morgan
- 900 reads
The fairground came to town that Sunday and illuminated the dark night with brightly coloured lights. The Mitchinson Family went along and they were Angela who was aged 43, Harold aged 37 and their two children Harriet and Edwin aged 15 and 9 respectfully. There was quite a macabre mood to the fairground. The ghost train was genuinely spine chilling and there was a freak show. Harold was curious to see it as was Harriet but Angela forbade them partly for matters of consideration to the freaks but primarily because she saw the spectators exit the tent in a traumatic state. That evening one stall caught Harriet’s eye. It was a simple hoopla stall manned by a fat, smart-in-appearance gentleman with black hair, a Hercule Poirot moustache and sporting a straw boater.
There were a good selection of prizes to be won at the hoopla and Harriet drew her family’s attention to the stall. Angela declared, “Oh yes. This looks like a nice game.” Harold grumbled to his son, “Not quite the waltzer is it?” The attractiveness of Angela made the light in one of the stallholder’s eyes twinkle. Harold saw this and wasn’t happy especially when it was clear that his wife felt flattered by the attention. He was rather curt with the charming stallholder and demanded first try. He failed. “Would Madam like a go?” Asked the stallholder. Extremely flattered by his tone and manner Angela made an attempt to aim her hoops over a particular prize she had her eye on. Harold whispered to this son, “See that goldfish in the bowl? How on Earth is one supposed to get those little hoops over that?” Angela also failed to get her prize. “Now young lady, perhaps you might be more successful than your parents.” Harriet knew what she wanted as well but failed to get it too. It came to Edwin’s turn, could he be the one to win a prize with his four hoops? No. “Never mind.” Said Angela. The stallholder received a piercing glare from Harold who complained to his family, “Waste of money, really.”
The Mitchinson Family didn’t get very far when the stallholder called them back, “Wait a moment please, I do have something for you.” The Mitchinson Family walked back with Harold looking very cynical. The stallholder briefly had his back to them, “If you just wait for one little moment.” The family made an attempt to look at what the stallholder was doing but were unable to see anything. Their curiosity was eventually rewarded when the stallholder turned around to offer them the goldfish that he just transferred from the bowl to a small see-through plastic bag. “As a little special reward for trying.” The stallholder handed the goldfish in the bag to young Edwin to carry, winking at Angela in the process.
“Come on, it’s best we go home now.”
“There’ll be other fairgrounds.” Said Harold.
Angela looked at Harriet and Edwin, shrugged her shoulders and they did likewise.
The Mitchinson Family returned to their home late at night. Harriet went straight to bed whilst Edwin walked about with his goldfish. His mother said that they would buy a little tank for the fish but in the meantime he could swim about in the kitchen sink as it was cruel to keep a little creature in a small bag. “No! What if somebody pulls the plug out? My goldfish would end up swimming in wee!” His father tried to reason with him but without avail. Edwin stormed to his bedroom with the goldfish and slammed the door shut.
Lying in bed Edwin was prevented from sleeping by the goldfish who stared directly at him. Soon the young boy was unable to think. He got up from his bed and walked towards the door, the goldfish looking at him as he did. Edwin walked out of the door and into the kitchen. Meanwhile Angela had woken up in the night. She had the fate of the goldfish on her mind. Harold was fast asleep and so it took Angela a little bit of time and effort to wake him up. “Eh, what?” Stumbled Harold.
“Listen, Harold. You know I cannot abide cruelty to animals. Could you creep into Edwin’s bedroom and quietly transfer his goldfish to the sink?” Her husband sighed deeply but resigned himself to the fact that he could not decline the request. Back in his bedroom Edwin was stood on a little three legged wooden stool by the door with a large piece of cotton in his hand. His goldfish staring directly at him. Edwin’s bedroom door opened, Harold put his head through and immediately Edwin place the chloroform soaked cotton wool round his father’s mouth.
Monday morning and Harold had to go to his office, Angela had to go to her haberdashery, Harriet and Edwin had to go to school. The Mitchinson Family under the tradition started by the strictest orders of Angela Mitchinson congregated at the breakfast table for tea or coffee and toast or cereal. As they sat down to break their night’s fasting Harriet noticed that the kitchen sink was full of water. “Oh, allow me.” She politely offered and Harriet got up from her chair and pulled the plug out. Angela immediately shouted. “Oh my goodness, no! Put the plug back in!” Too late, even though Harriet managed to quickly fit the rubber plug back into the hole. “Oh, I’m terribly sorry, my baby.” Angela emoted. Edwin got up from his seat to observe a kitchen sink full of water. He looked for a while and turned to his sister, “It’s okay Harriet. It was just an accident.” Harriet felt guilty and Edwin turned to his father and gave him a smile. Neither of the two blinked.
© 2009 Clinton Morgan
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Weird and entertaining; I
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