A little project I think I'll work on :3 an interesting story about how a Betta can steal your heart...
The ACTUAL story will be coming up soon, the prologue is a little under fleshed, but I didn't want to make it into a novel, not when there is an actual story coming out after it. hope you enjoy!
When my sister came over on my birthday and set up the tank, I grew suspicious. I never planned on owning fish, and why would I? Fish were for grade-schoolers who weren't allowed to have puppies, or for the waiting area of the doctors office. I had no need of that sort of thing; what a waste of counter space.
There was a tinkle of water as the filter began. " There... All done!" She closed the lid slowly and tested the light. " It'll be ready for fish in about... two weeks?" She mulled, " Yes, should be plenty."
I stared at the tank. It had blue rocks on the bottom, some silk plants and two caves. Bubbles moved slowly along with a light current. " Uh... so I have to buy fish?" Spend money on something I don't want on my Birthday? Yeah, right.
She laughed a little at that, " No of course not. I already know what you're putting in that tank too. I'll bring it over when the tank is ready, until then follow the instructions so the tank can cycle." I didn't know where the instructions were, and I didn't ask. I tried very hard to smile, at least a fish wouldn't be too much work. It would likely die in a week anyway, so I could but the tank in storage and forget all about it.
I did forget. Two weeks on the mark, my sister surprised me with a shopping bag filled with fish stuff, and a plastic cup with a few inches of water in it and a tiny little fish. It kinda floated there, like it was dead. I had a rather big sized tank, five gallons, I could fit at least five of those in there. She put a cap full of chemicals in the water, and then put the fish beside it, instead of in it.
" Here is a pamphlet on how to take care of it." she handed me the paper, thicker than I expected. " Make sure to let the water in the cup adjust to room temperature before putting the fish in, or you'll kill him" He already looked dead.
We had a nice little visit, and a cup of coffee each before she left. I looked down at the pamphlet, " Caring for your new Betta." I muttered and then shrugged, opening up the lid of the tank and dumping the fish in. And that was how I met my first Betta.
Skybetta6060 - I found him this morning, poor bugger never stood a chance. Buying a sick fish from Lol-mart = bad idea.
I had to read her post twice. I met Skye at the Wal-Mart while I was looking at getting a couple more Betta to brighten up my tank. She too was looking at the fish and ended up chatting me up. It was her who not only got me into Betta, but onto the Betta forum, Bettafishing. It was there she had just made a post that the Betta she had purchased during our first meeting had died of sickness.
NomBettaSticks - Aww hun, I'm sorry to hear that... I thought he was getting better. Good thing FireFish's spawn are almost ready to sell, now you have room for one of his pretty babies!
We were both huge fans of the breeder known on the forum as "FireFish". There was a high demand for his latest spawn of Veil Tails, and both me and Skye were eagerly awaiting the sales to try and snatch one of these beauties. They were all white with red and blue fins, an enchanting combination. Skye talked endlessly on how she must have one of them, and even began picking out names.
SkyBetta6060 - I am getting one the absolute second they are for sale!
There ended up being a snag in the plan. Getting close to the time the fish were going on sale, FireFish vanished from the forum. Finally, after he had been gone a full two weeks, he made a long announcement.
FireFish - I'm sorry to say, but there was an unfortunate fire in my apartment...
I read the announcement, occasionally looking back over my shoulder at my own Betta, perched on a leaf so care-free. Apparently his apartment had caught fire, and the only fish he was able to save had been one of the spawn, and only because he just happened to be transferring him to a new tank. He said he didn't even realize he had a cup of fish in his hands until he got out on the street. He couldn't keep the fish, and decided to hold an auction for him, to raise some money.
Naturally, Skye became the proud owner of "Phoenix". She was all over him, almost obsessed. I got invited over to see him, and she spent an hour talking about him. The forum received post after post, picture after picture, and hours of video footage. It seemed the more attached she got to the fish, the further apart we became.
It was a Sunday afternoon, the kind of lazy day you'd spend out anywhere, as long as it wasn't home. I had the day off from my job, and nothing to do so I called up Skye to see if she wanted to go for a drink.
" I can't. Phoenix might tear a fin and I wouldn't be able to take care of him, or what if the filter intake breaks and he gets sucked through, I need to be careful, I can't have him die."
She sounded tired, and although I knew she was a big fan of Betta, she was never so obsessed she couldn't leave home. I figured something else was up, so I went to her house and rang the doorbell. There was no answer, so I knocked to be on the safe side, and she opened the door slowly.
" We have guests" She shouted behind her to her Betta, " Someone else to play with you!"
The living room was empty, except for a fifty gallon tank for her Betta, and a chair. There was a shelf beneath the tank with different bottles and equipment for fish keeping. Her eyes had bags under them, and she walked with an odd limp. I asked her why she didn't answer when I rang.
" Oh, I disconnected the doorbell, it stressed Phoenix out too much."
I never visited her again, although I stayed active on the forum. She quit in a rage, claiming us all to be "abusive" towards our Betta, although we were far better keepers than most. I didn't hear from her again after that, and I was perfectly okay with that.
It was oddly convenient my birthday Betta passed a day before I got a visitor at my door. Skye's brother brought news that she had died because she hadn't been eating. He had a bag in his hand, and in it circled Phoenix.
" She wrote that if something should happen, you're to take it. Funny, it was her only final wish." I took the fish, thanked the gentleman and closed the door, tears welling up in my eyes. The fish looked up at me like it owned me. It made me angry, so I opened the bag and dumped him into the tank roughly. He flinched with the shock of the water differences and sank for a bit. I hated him, and he looked up mirroring my hate. It made me furious. Satisfied that he had irritated me, he perched himself smugly on a leaf. It was too small of a tank, he had been in such a large one until now. I suddenly felt an urge to go pick up his fifty gallon tank and set it up. Yeah, that would make him happy. Oh, and he doesn't like the color of my walls, I would have to paint them...
It's really the eyes that get me. They aren't like goldfish or guppies, these guys can speak to you if you are willing to watch them and listen.