I am ancient. I have lived for nearly 10 years, and there are many generations of Bettas who have been born from me. My beloved died years ago, as long with most of the survivors of what is now known as "the day disaster struck." But me, I'm still alive. I feel it wont be too much longer though.
"Moontail." Called a voice I turned slowely in my rock cave, all around it looked pure green. The rice was growing, and the whole rice paddy was crowded and just covered in green stocks. I noticed a young brown Betta rush in. "Yes?" I asked. "Your great great great grand daughter wanted me to tell you that she sends her best wishes." The brown Betta said. "Please, I'm fine." I coughed, knowing the real truth. The brown Betta just flared and swam away. Outside, as usual, I heard many Bettas laying around the cave. It's like they worship me. I thought.
This morning felt different then all others. It was going to be red-moon tonight, that I could feel. It has only happened one other time in my life, and tonight would probably be my last time seeing it.
I felt ill, but continued my day. A huge pile of dead blood worms, and even a few minnows, was pushed into my cave, and I feasted. But it was getting late, and I was feeling weak.
I layed down under the hole in the rock and watched as the full moon slowely became enveloped in red. Suddenly I gasped, my fins felt numb. I tried to move them, but for some reason they wouldn't move. I tried to shout but my mouth wouldn't open. My gills were still pumping and the water was rich with oxygen, so maybe these effects would wear off before it was too late.
As the minutes passed by, it was surprisingly quiet and calm. On the inside I wanted to panic, to move, something. But I was stuck. I saw red everywhere, and I saw my reflection against the surface. The moonlight was turning my scales red, and soon, so was the whole cave. I saw around me great figures... those of predators, catchers, giant fish, and Bettas. I thought I saw a glowing outline of a betta there... one of a catcher there...
Soon my fins were working again, but something was different. I was stronger and brighter, the world looked so clear, and the water stretched farther than even before, reaching the ends of the earth. I saw Goldheart weaving through the water to me, and I knew where I was.
I flared at a wierd looking snail crawling across a rock. Around me there were Bettas swimming around all over. For a minute it looked like one appeared that looked like me. Don't be riduculous. No Betta looks like me. I thought.
I glanced up at the surface and wanted to shudder at the white Betta that stared back at me. It looked so strange, but it was me. I already had longer fins and my scales were alien, luckily I knew I was a Betta through and through.
This place seemed nice... why was I here? Oh yeah, to find a territory. Yes, it had a nice little cave, and lots of places where rice was bound to shoot up. There was also a little shoal of minnows that was sticking around the cave, so I went in.
It was surprisingly big, and there was a hole in the top of the cave where I could easily get air. It was obvious no Betta had been here for awhile, probably YEARS, because there wasn't any Betta scent or taste. On the walls there were strange shapes... like really wierd creatures. There was the outline of feeders, bird-predators, fish, Bettas... and a white Betta. My nose nearly touching the wall, I examined the white Betta.
It had a huge tail shaped like the moon, and was in the center of all the wierd outlines. It told a story... But what that was, I guess I'll never know.
I flared and chased away a minnow. This is my territory. I decided. I looked at the wall, and the wierd outlines were gone.
Sorry, I forgot yesterday lol. So here's more! Oh, also, I meant part 1 above.
WARNING: This part might be considered a bit "gruesome" to some so don't read if you're kind of squeamish.
I've only been in my territroy a few weeks, but the water level was somehow dropping. I'd heard tales of the drought, but doubted they were true. Heck, odds are this is the most the water level will drop.
I noticed a lot of other Bettas swimming farther out into the rice paddy the last couple of days, and it makes no sense. "Why would they want to go out so far they could get lost?" I wondered. The rice paddy stretched forever, never stopping, so obviously these Bettas were doomed to get lost forever. "Well, I'm not leaving. I'm staying in my nice safe cave." And with that I swam inside of it.
It has been a few weeks. I panicked, the water level was barely 2 inches, and in many spots the rice paddy was dried up. I would frantically swim for a minute just to hit dry land. It was like the rice paddy was breaking up into a bunch of big puddles.
In the distance I heard a Bettas call. "HELP!" That was a females voice! I rushed towards her, only to stop at the edge of my puddle. In between a HUGE gap between my and some other large puddle was a tiny puddle. Sticking up out of it was a female, flopping and shouting. "Help!! help!!!" That puddle was way to shallow, it couldn't cover her and it was shrinking by the minute. She was far, far away, much to far to leap. The puddle was just shriveling away under the intense sun.
I realized her only chance. "Flop this way!" But no, a Betta can't control where it flops. I looked away, but there was just a few rocks, a bunch of boring dirt, and the large puddle I was in. It was way too boring, I was already bored of it. Might as well attempt to help that female.
Once again I came to look, but she had almost no water at all. But it was a strong healthy looking female, maybe she would make it! But no... she was just shrieking her gills off and flopping for her life, only hoping she would make it to water. "Try to come here if you can!" I kept on shouting, hoping to help direct her. She seemed to try, she angled her fins like she would to swim over, but she flopped around in circles around the dry land.
A few hours later, I was exhausted from shouting instructions. This female was almost to the puddle I was in though! Maybe she would make it! She'd certainly gotten used to flopping where she wanted to go. But, if I was exhausted just from shouting... how could she do it?I looked at her and saw her weakly flop, and then she just gave up. "Don't give up!" I shouted. "You have to be brave!" But she just tilted her head weakly with a look of pure exhaaustion and horror on her face.
"You..." She gasped. She twitched her eyes momentarily towards the sky and the sun that was stealing the moisture from her. Then she looked at me again. Her eyes got a haunted look and she said, "Yes, there will be a beam brighter than the sun, the one braver than a Lion and with the power to save all." She gave one final fin twitch, and was still.
I gasped and swam as far as I could into the puddle. She had still died, and... what she had said frightened me. "Wait... sun? Brightness? I'm Whitesun! What does this mean?" I wondered aloud.
"I'm not sure what she was talking about, but it was obviously directed towards me, and I have to respect the words of a dying Betta."