First I took my nightly medication with a sip of water just before I went to bed. If I drink more than a sip, I wake up in the middle of the night for a trip to bathroom and a tormenting insomnia afterward is inevitable. So I’ve learned by experience that water at night epitomizes shattered dreams and painful awakening.
After I tucked myself in bed and before closing my eyes, I gazed at the image of myself victoriously parading my prized catch dangling from my fishing line wrapped around my hand.
I tried hard to keep my bait just below the water surface and the rod straight up toward the sky making sure the fish doesn’t sense its presence. Then I wobbled the pole to bring the bait to life and lure the fish. Several times, I felt the constant nibbling on my bait but I didn’t react, as I knew it was a little one. Patience is the key to success. Later on the big fish opened its mouth wide to snatch its prey in one swift action and that was the precise moment I hooked it.
Every minute of that momentous occasion was vividly registered in my memory, and the result was immortalized on my bedroom wall. I even used the same fishing line tied to the original hook and secured it on the wall hanging right over the picture where the fish’s mouth was to give my trophy catch the bitter taste of harsh reality. The superimposition of the real hook on the depicted memory was stunning. The hook in the lifeless creature’s mouth was still shining my dark room after all these years.
Its opaque black eyes were piecing through me as hard as my solid bronze hook was piercing its blood-crusted mouth.
I went to sleep and despite all my precautions, I woke up in middle of the night. Barely I opened my eyes to check the time and noticed the glowing 3 am on the clock was floating in the darkness. Suddenly I realized my entire body was wet. I too was floating in the rising water. My bed was in water along with everything else in the room. The entire house was flooded. I’d had so many bizarre dreams in the past but this one was incomprehensible because it was not one.
Every piece of furniture in the house was either under water or freely floating. I managed to open the window just to see the entire neighborhood sharing the same destiny. I swam outside the house and witnessed a raging river passing by where the street was yesterday. People, pets and furniture were all afloat calmly. The eerie tranquility hovering over this horrific tragedy was astonishing. Everyone was calm. Most people were still asleep in their beds on the river.
I could see a man and a woman making love on the water. I could hear dogs snoring and see babies sleeping in their cradles.
The river was drifting everyone away yet no one was alarmed. I could go back to sleep but how could I sleep soundly in the wake of such catastrophic event? Unlike others I decided not go with the flow, stayed home and learned how to embrace my new life.
It took me some time but I gradually got adapted to new environment. My life changed and all memories of previous life washed away. I learned how to live as an amphibian and became an aquatic creature. My body is now covered with scales and I’m equipped with several sets of fins. I can easily swim underwater because I’ve developed a new respiratory organ. My gills allow me to immerse in water for as long as I wish. I grew a tail to provide thrust and acceleration while I’m swimming. My eyesight has evolved to adapt to my marine environment and now I can masterfully dodge the obstacles in my way in the darkness.
My diet changed. I now feed on bugs, worms, flies and gnats and occasionally a fish if I happen to stumble across one. I freely roam around in my natural habitat but I’m not immune to pain. I have experienced several scars on my scales when I tried to tunnel through the disintegrating furniture of my house but I always managed to escape dangers throughout my life as a fish.
One day as I was so hungry and searching for food I noticed the shadow of a fish flopping its tail on the water in my bedroom. Frantically I rushed to snatch my food and emerged from the water, opened my mouth wide to swallow my prey and suddenly a sharp metal ripped my mouth. More I thoughtlessly struggled to free myself more the razor edge barbs on the hook injured my face. Finally I stopped trying as I realized how securely the hook was wedged in my flesh.
From that day on, my entire body is hopelessly flapping in the water as my head is stuck in the air with my mouth wide open. I can still breath air and ingest bugs and flies if they accidentally get trapped in my mouth. Every night before I go to sleep I gaze at the victorious looks on the man’s face holding me by the fishing line wrapped around his hand parading me as his prized catch.
My opaque black eyes are piecing through him as hard as his solid bronze hook is piercing my blood-crusted mouth.