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Old 07-20-2011, 05:29 AM   #101 
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Caesario: Part III

I felt the bag I was in moving again, and the water around me sloshed gently as the two women moved and packed their things, all the while talking with great interest about what the person at the front of the room was discussing. I could hear that person stop the smaller woman, and as they spoke the opaque bag was pulled away and I was revealed in my fearful state. The person my guardians were speaking to was a middle aged woman whose dark hair was short and greying. Light coloured eyes examined me closely from the midst of a careworn face that had seen a lot of weather and life. Her stature was every bit as diminutive as the smaller of the two women that rescued me.

"She's beautiful," the older woman said.
"She's just a little stressed out at the moment," the larger of the two young women replied. "She'll colour up when she's had some time to calm down and adjust."
"If someone had just taken me out of a nice warm tank and shoved me in a bag I'd be a little stressed too," the older woman replied with an amused glimmer in her eyes.
"Come here," the smaller woman said softly as she took me from the larger one and gingerly placed me back in the warm, dark pocket of her wearable blanket. The water moved around me as they walked; I could feel them moving down more stairs and down a short stretch before they tapped softly on something hard and I was out in the cold light once more.

There was yet another woman and I was again being displayed like some prize that had been won. This woman was much younger in appearance than the first and had an accent that sounded foreign from anything that I had ever heard before, but her eyes were kind and her touch gentle when she lifted my bag from the hands of the small guardian. She praised my beauty like the other humans, but when she turned the bag in her hands to examine me from all angles the knot slipped from her grasp and I could feel the water rushing upward around me even as the bag fell and landed on the floor in spite of the smaller human trying to catch me.

All colour had now gone from my body and I could hear my pulse throbbing in my jaw as the small human picked me up and whispered softly that everything was going to be alright, but her brow quickly furrowed in concern. The water was slowly leaking from the bag, and she quickly put her small, delicate hand over the breach to stem the flow. The three humans quickly rushed into a small box that moved swiftly upward. There was a corridor, then a small room with a large tank full of guppies that sat next to a sink. While the older woman busied herself to find a suitable vessel, the small guardian gently placed me in the sink, where the water would not cause harm if it pooled. The second bag that I was placed into also leaked. A plastic vessel was now being rinsed out and I was rather brusquely dropped into this.

"I am sorry," the blonde woman said.
"Don't worry about it," said the small guardian. "She doesn't seem to be hurt."

The water sloshed around in this container even more than it did in the bag, and I felt the motion of the vehicle in this vessel even more than I did when I was in the bag, but at least I had more room now. The vehicle stopped and the larger human quickly moved me through the cold air from the vehicle to a very drafty and untidy room and placed me on a large desk with a green wooden top. There was a five gallon tank on one corner in which a small school of guppies played hide and seek among the plants, and next to the tank was a very large purple and red male betta unlike any I had ever seen before...
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Old 07-21-2011, 11:43 AM   #102 
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Oh I love it keep going!
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Old 09-20-2011, 07:39 PM   #103 
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Oberon: Part I

The little boy that they put in the jar by my tank wasn't much to look at. In fact, he looked like a very malnourished girl at first. Though our guardians didn't see it, I could tell when he flared at me that he was not a female at all. I didn't flare back because I felt threatened: I flared because the five gallon tank that inhabited belonged to me and me only...plus the four cories and a flying fox they called Oppenheimer. Not that they really mattered much. Oppenheimer occasionally stole my food and the cories seemed more fascinated with the rocks on the bottom and the occasional plant leaf--not that I minded this, because the humans always fed me a little too much. But the boy didn't need to be on my turf. In fact, I found it somewhat offensive that the humans would even dare to put him close to me and I flared at the smaller human to "voice" my disgust.

"Be nice, Obi-Fish," she said sternly as she walked by. "It's not like she can get to you."

"They think you're a girl, huh?"
"Yeah," the new boy said. "They called me Portia."
"You can pretend they named you after the car," I suggested.
"What?"
"I don't really know. I've heard the little human talk about how pretty vintage Portia cars are compared to newer models."
"What's going to happen to me now?"
"You'll be alright. They're not mean or anything. There are worse places you can be, you know."
"I think I was there already. What's your story?"
"It's a bit long. Are you sure you want to hear?"

(I learned later that Porsche and Portia are not the same thing)
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Old 10-12-2011, 10:52 PM   #104 
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Oberon: Part II

My story began like everyone else: you've heard it enough times that I don't need to tell you. What I will tell you is that I was never supposed to come here--at least that's what I've heard. I sat on the shelf at the pet store, in this tiny glass bubble for all of two days. The humans that take care of us come in when the shipments do, and that was the day that I arrived in a tiny bag with only enough water to keep me breathing. Unlike my brothers who lay exhausted on their gaudy glass pebbles, I adjusted quickly to my new surroundings and angrily paced the circumference of the tiny world I was given. It was nothing like home, though I had been in multiple way-stations since then and knew this to be just another. I flared at the women that stood there, watching us with avid interest and staring at me in particular; they mocked my purple and red colouring, laughing as they jokingly named me "Oberon: King of the Fairies." The small human looked at me pensively before the two of them walked away.

She greeted me by that name when she came in again with the other woman and a much larger man in tow. She was still thinking about me: I could tell.

"You don't need another fish," the man said. "Anyway, where would you put him?"
"I'm sure we can figure it out," the small girl said.
"You know he won't be around long," said one of the uniformed humans that took care of us. "There was a little kid looking at him earlier."
"Well that seals it," said the small human. "We'll take him."
"Are you sure?" the larger woman asked. The large man just rolled his eyes.
"I have to go to that funeral tomorrow though," she said. "It might be easier if you could come get him in the morning."
"It would be better if you could take him before the store closes," the uniformed one said.
"We can do what we need to do and come back," the man added, "but you really don't need to get another fish. You have your hands full already."
"But he's soooo pretty," the larger woman said as the small one nodded in accord.

Sufficed to say that they did come back for me, and I was treated well from the onset. I'm sure things will only get better, but everyone here has a story to tell. It's not just me, really. I'm sure there will be more to tell you, Portia. But for now the future is unwritten.
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Old 10-12-2011, 10:54 PM   #105 
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A note from the author

The stories aren't done yet; there is still much to tell. As one form of chaos subsides into another I may still find more time to write. Hang in there, my friends. There is more to come, I promise you.
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Old 10-17-2011, 02:21 PM   #106 
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Hamlet: Part X

Our little family had grown so quickly in the wake of the loss of Corde and Ophelia that I scarcely hoped to meet everyone in a single sitting. I'm certain that part of this was contrived to keep we males from trying to hurt each other because they kept the girls in between us until they put Oberon in the large tank on Big Keeper's desk. I didn't mind: Hero was great company and often kept me distracted from my surroundings. I was still very attentive to the Keepers--especially when they approached with food in hand--but most of my time I passed trying to dance with her and building bubble nests to impress her.

She was sweet and funny: sometimes she would stand on her nose and spin in a circle, giving a risque show of her ovipositor before turning to bow her head before me. Sometimes she released her eggs from excitement but remained so large that she normally swam with her tail raised. Sometimes I overheard the Keepers talking about allowing us to mate; I hoped and prayed as I chewed on my pellets that they would allow us to be together. I wondered if we would be happy when it came down to it.
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Old 10-20-2011, 10:26 PM   #107 
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GOOD this means it is getting better i hope!
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Old 10-26-2011, 03:12 AM   #108 
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Hero: Part V

As much as I knew he was once destined to be with my sister, I could not help but be drawn to the large burgundy male in the beautiful jar. His bubble nests impressed me, and the occasional taste of his water given to me by the small human was like ambrosia to me as much as it maddened me. As much as I was saddened to be at his side instead of Ophelia, I was also excited at the thought of being with him. I could feel my ovaries becoming more and more of a burden as my belly grew--Hamlet could see this too, and flicked his tail in frustration as he attempted to sail over the wall of his glass palace only to be hampered by its ceiling and his long fins.

Just as he occasionally flared at some of the other males, I still tried to assert my dominance among my sisters in spite of the walls between our miniscule prisons. My desire to mate only fueled my aggression, and it must have reflected in my courting dances as Hamlet began to behave more passionately toward me--he flared more widely and beat his tail more wildly in a tempestuous dance that would have won the affections of any female.
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Old 11-09-2011, 10:45 PM   #109 
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Hero: Part VI

It came out of nowhere. The Keepers had their theories, but none but Hamlet will ever really know what happened--and his story at this point is one I cannot tell. I only know what I saw.

Little Keeper was getting ready for school when it happened. She bent down to grab her bag, and Hamlet waved his fins at her as always, but his motions of greeting became a flurry of distress as he turned on his side and swam in a rapid downward spiral as the Keeper watched in alarm and called for her counter-part to come quickly as possible. She bore him to the surface in the black net and held him there while he gasped for breath, though he ceased to struggle.

"It's alright, boy," she whispered soothingly. "Take it easy."
"What can I do?" The Big Keeper asked anxiously.
"Get a shallow container with some water and a pinch of epsom salt."
"Ok."

The Keeper disappeared briefly and returned with a shallow dish of water while the small one syringed water over Hamlet's mouth and gills, frantically treating him while she explained to the larger one all that she had seen. They exchanged looks of worry as they moved him over to his medicine and tried to calm the anxious flopping that the move elicited with soothing whispers and the warmth of her body. His motion ceased, but the Keeper did not: she forced the opening of the syringe into his mouth and pushed air into his labyrinth organ...
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