I'll do just one more..
[also...Sassy is my avatar!]
I can't remember how long I'd be confined in that cup. All I know is that several days passed before anyone even glanced my way or bent down to look at me. One day someone picked me up and held me up, but I was scared. I didn't like them and I tried to make myself as small as possible. I guess they didn't like me either because they shoved me into one of the bottom spaces on the rack, way down near the floor. There were no other cups next to me and it was dark. I was very sad and wanted to give up. A couple more days passed before my cup was picked up again. This time, they didn't shake around my cup or tap on the side of it. It was a girl, and she was smiling at me through the scratched plastic. I instantly knew she was not like the others that had looked at me, transporting me to the store and not even caring enough to be gentle. She rotated my cup around to get a good look at me and I showed off my colors to her, my bright red fins full as I flared at her. Her smile grew and I could sense she was happy. And that made me happy too.
She brought me home and floated my cup in a cube-shaped tank. Across the room was a bigger tank with two males on opposite sides of a plastic wall; one was twice the size of the other and I was thankful I wasn't going to be living in there! There was a smaller tank next to me with a little blue betta in it. He was skinny and looked kind of sick, but also seemed friendly. When the girl came by again, she dipped my cup deeper into the water to allow some of it to flow into my cup. Clean, warm water! I felt better already. I was still afraid because I didn't like the cup, so my fins turned almost the same color as my body. She did this a few more times, dipping my cup in to let more water flow in, before taking off the lid of the cup and gently pushing me out with her fingers. None of my old water came with me. That was behind me- this was my new life! I could see my reflection in the walls of the tank. I was very small and very skinny. I looked like those baby bettas at the store! For a moment I wondered what the girl saw in me that made her want to take me home...but I wasn't going to question my good fortune. There were black rocks in the bottom of the tank, with a few brightly colored ones mixed in. There were two plants, both made of silk, and they were soft against my fins. I liked to take naps in them, because then I didn't have to swim very far to take a breath of air. There was also a big yellow cave in my new home. It was tall and had these three weird black and white striped creatures on it. And they had wings! I flared at them, hoping they would react...but they didn't. I moved in closer to them, flaring again, but still nothing. I plucked up the courage to nip at one of them and then darted back. But they never moved. I eyed them suspiciously, mentally warning them that if they made a wrong move, they would be fish food.
I'd come to know the girl as my mother. She fed me and changed my water (even now I still get really stressed out and my fins turn really pale) and left the light on above the tank so it wasn't so dark. There was a lot to explore: sometimes when I swam really fast, the leaves on the plants moved; after she put new water in my tank, bubbles would rise from the black rocks. As the days passed, I could see that I was beginning to grow. I wasn't small and skinny anymore. I looked healthier and my fins were brighter. My mother fed me this stuff called "frozen shrimp" and stuck a piece on the end of her finger. Sometimes she would drop in a piece but it was scary, so I wouldn't touch it. But when it was on the end of her finger, it suddenly wasn't so scary! Because I knew my mother wouldn't hurt me, so I learned to take it from her fingers. Eventually I learned that when she dropped in my food, it wasn't so scary! I liked to flare at her a lot. My tank sat right next to her bed, on her night stand, and sometimes she would lay facing me and I'd flare at her or follow her finger. We played together and I could see her smile through the tank wall.
Now I'm all grown up! I'm not skinny any more and I've gotten a lot bigger. I've moved into a different tank now, but I still have my favorite plant and the black rocks. Instead of the cave with the weird creatures on it, I have a little cave with purple flowers!
My mother calls me her little girl, her baby girl...she only calls me Sassy when I'm being bad! But I know my mother loves me, because she was the one who saved me from the bottom shelf. And that's why I love her too.
Rain's POV: It's been two weeks and I'm still in this darned container. I've seen my neighbors get purchased along with those horrid little betta containers that are displayed right next to us. Some of them look back at me while they're being carried away, and all I see is a look of horror in their eye. I shudder to think what my fate will be. A lady saw me a few days ago and picked me up. I thought that I was finally going to get out of here. Instead, she placed me at the very top of the display and left. Now nobody will notice me up here, might as well give up. Oh great...a new shipment's arrived. Look at them all, vibrant and active,but in a while they'll start to look like me: weak with faded colors. No way is anyone going to pick me over them.
Being in such a high place, I can pretty much see everything that's going on in the store. I see these two girls come into the store and go straight to the fish section. They walk past the betta display to go into one of the aisles. They then come over to the betta display. The long-haired girl is carrying a bag of rocks. She then places the bag of rocks on top of those horrid betta containers and begins to look at each betta intently, sometimes gently picking one up, and then putting it down. Seeing how gentle she is to the bettas, I wish she would take me home, but she can't see me. Gosh darned that lady who put me up here. The shorter-haired girl walks away to look at the birds and rodents, but the long-haired girl just keeps staring at the bettas. After a while, she's got a blue/orange/green doubletail HMPK in one hand and a salamander butterfly HM in another. She puts them on the betta containers and looks from one to another, as though deciding on which one she'll take. They're active and flaring at each other madly, trying to impress her. I sit at the bottom of my cup, feeling hopeless. The short-haired girl comes back, and they talk. The long-haired girls points to the two fish, and the short-haired girl nods, then walks away again. Suddenly, the long-haired girl looks up here! She's seen me, and her eyes widen. She goes on her tip-toes to gently get me down. She quickly walks over to her friend and shows me to her. Her friend says something, I'm not quite sure, and the long-haired girl walks back to the display and puts me next to the other two bettas. The two bettas are still trying to impress her, swimming around their cup frantically trying to get her attention. I'm too weak. I don't have the energy for it, so I sit on the bottom of my cup. She's probably not going to choose me anyway, so why waste my energy? The girl is looking very indecisive saying how she wishes she could take all of us back with her and maybe she shouldn't get a fish yet. She looks at the other two, and back at me, and back at the other two. Finally after staring at me for a good long while, she picks up the other two and puts them back. I can't believe it! Is this really happening? It is! She brings me to the cash register along with her gravel. I don't see her with a betta container, so I guess it's a good sign. It's winter over here, so when we got out of the store, it was freezing. I see the girl take off her scarf and use it to wrap it around my cup to try to keep me warm. I like this girl already.
After a bumpy ride, I'm in this room. The girl puts me down on her desk and tells me to wait for a bit. I look over and see this huge tank. Much bigger than this little cup I'm in. Is that for me? I see her working frantically to get the tank ready. Soon my cup is floating in the warm waters of the tank. I can't wait to get in my new home