This short story has been linked up at the SHORT STORY PROMPT LINK PARTY 12.
Ready? Here’s the prompt:
It started raining just as I…
Now, here’s my version:
THE TALKING FISH – PART 2 (see Part 1 here)
It started raining just as I pulled into the parking lot at the pet store. I was on my way to the grocery store but needed to make a quick stop to pick up food for my dog.
As soon as I walked into the store I noticed a large sale sign for fish supplies. Ah fish, it reminded me of my doctor appointment last week and the little boy I talked to. I could still see the frown on his face as he thought I didn’t believe him that fish could talk.
Smiling to myself, I thought about the wonderful imagination that children have. We adults seem to lose that type of creativity as we grow older.
I quickly found the dog food, put it in my shopping cart, and was on my way to the check out just as I heard a familiar voice.
“Grandma, my fish need more food.”
“Okay Justin, go get some food for your fish.”
“Yes ma’am, thank you.”
I turned my cart toward the fish food aisle. There he was, the same little boy with the same woman from the doctor’s office.
Should I approach them? Would he frown at me again?
As I stood there pondering, he looked up and saw me! Uh oh, busted! Amazingly, he smiled at me. I smiled back.
About the same time, another woman walked up to the boy’s grandmother. The two women greeted each other, hugged, and began chatting as if they hadn’t seen each other in a while. At that moment the boy walked toward me.
“Hi! You’re the lady from the doctor’s office.”
“Hi there. Yes, I am.”
He put his finger up to his lips, lowered his voice, and asked, “You still don’t believe me that fish can talk, do you?”
“Of course, I believe you.”
“Yes, I do.”
“Have you ever heard a fish talk?”
“No, no I haven’t.”
He turned and looked toward his grandmother then turned and looked at me. He smiled and motioned me to follow him toward the fish tanks.
As if following orders, I quickly obeyed. Once by his side in front of a large goldfish tank, he motioned for me to bend down to his level. He turned his head and put his left ear up against the tank.
“Listen to the fish, but go slow…the tank is cold!”
I followed his instructions as he motioned for me to put my ear up against the tank. He was right, the water made the tank a cold shock to my warm ear.
He watched as I put my ear against the tank then he closed his eyes as if he were concentrating. I did the same.
All at once I opened my eyes as I put my hand over my mouth to muffle my delighted squeal! I heard two goldfish in the front part of the tank talking to each other!
Opening his eyes, the boy had heard the muffled sound come from my mouth. He smiled and nodded his head at me as if to confirm that I heard the fish talking. I nodded back at him. He then grinned from ear to ear!
We put our ears against the tank again and then he spoke to the fish.
“Hi, I’m Justin.”
“Hi Justin. So happy to see you today!”
Again, I put my hand over my mouth! I just heard one of the fish speak to the boy! Am I dreaming? Is this really happening? These thoughts were going through my mind just as a stern sounding voice interrupted my thoughts.
We both looked up from the tank to see his grandmother looking down at us.
“I’m sorry grandma. I was just showing this lady the fish.”
His grandmother looked at me and apologized to me for him bothering me. I stood up and assured her that he wasn’t bothering me.
“This boy loves fish. I even hear him talking to his fish at home! If I didn’t know better, I’d swear the fish were talking back to him!”
She took the boy by his hand and walked down the aisle with him. Just before turning the corner, he turned around and smiled at me as he gave me a thumbs up. I smiled and returned the thumbs up to him.
*This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.