1304. Harold the goldfish

The annual summer plague of flies arrived at the same time as the next door neighbours went on vacation. Little Bonnie Candice from next door asked Martin if he would look after her pet goldfish, Harold. Of course he would!

Almost everyone knows that insect repellent, if sprayed near a goldfish bowl, will kill the fish. Martin didn’t know. Harold the goldfish floated upside down to the top of the glass bowl.

Martin didn’t know what to do. All goldfish look the same. Perhaps he should replace it and not tell little Bonnie Candice. She wouldn’t know the difference. Perhaps he should tell her, come out clean, and she would have to begin to face the realities of life. Decisions! Martin decided to replace the goldfish and tell no one. The mere thought of the different goldfish – that and the flies – completely ruined his summer break. He couldn’t sleep. He was totally stressed. He couldn’t relax. It was the worst summer of his life.

When little Bonnie Candice and her family returned from their vacation, the goldfish was returned with a great deal of trepidation. Little Bonnie Candice did not seem to notice the difference.

A week later Martin saw little Bonnie Candice and asked how the goldfish was doing. “Oh,” she said, “I got sick of it and flushed it down the toilet.”

15 thoughts on “1304. Harold the goldfish

  1. umashankar

    They can really hit you hard, the realities of life. This is no planet for agonizing Martins.
    It’s a beautiful story, both Martin and Bonnie leave their mark on the reader’s mind — not easily achieved in flash fiction.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nitin

    Oh the futility of poor Martin’s existential guilt! He should have just said, ‘The Goldfish is dead,’ and left it on that nihilistic tone.

    Liked by 1 person


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