It’s cold and damp on the sidewalk outside of Pesca’s Restaurant. The neon fish stares at me from the window, twisting its body as if it knows what I did. I rub my sleep deprived eyes and the fish lies still again, once more just a window decoration. Looking through the glass I see a woman bring a fork to her mouth, heedless of the sharp barb I see buried in the meat. My conscience forces me to react, but banging and yelling brings only the maître d’s wrath and he shoos me away.

Faces glare at me from within as I back into the street, but I pay them no mind. Only the display matters now. The glass fish springs from the window like the real ones I saw leaping out of the water on my fishing trip. It charges me and a scream chokes in my throat. My feet are rooted to the asphalt. Dagger like teeth cut into my flesh, sending waves of pain through my body. Light flashes and my mind drifts away.

Waves swell around me as I strain against the hook caught in my lips. Despite my efforts, the boat only looms nearer. A sharp hook pierces my side and I am slammed onto the deck. All around me is the nauseating scent of blood in the salt air. The hook is ripped from my mouth with pliers and I writhe in pain.

I see myself watching as I am tossed into a bucket of dirty water filled with lifeless friends. I twist in a vain effort to escape, praying that I will rescue myself. But I only watch in fascination as I suffocate in the filthy muck.

Lights flash all around me and the hard street is my only pillow. People watch, enthralled by the spectacle. As they lift me onto the gurney I see the neon fish smiling. It’s had its revenge at last.

About A. L. Kaplan

I am a writer, artist, and parent.
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