by Jacqueline Parker
by Jacqueline Parker
I fell into a fishbowl.
In my dream the water was violet. Violet like the sky between the sun setting and the night rising. It tasted like cotton candy. I tried to drown myself, but I couldn't. I swallowed as much sweet candy water as I could, held my breath but I didn't sink I didn't panic I didn't get lightheaded the way I guess you're supposed to when you feel the last ounce of life leave your veins. I wanted to feel, for that one moment, as serene as I thought I should feel as careless as I was entitled to feel. To know what it's like to control your own fate, yet to be so out of control… to get yourself to that point and cross that line jump off that fence knowing you can't go back.
I swam upward but never broke the surface; I looked around and saw that I never moved. The same plastic seaweed still sat in the neon fishbowl pebbles that had developed some residue on them from weeks months years of neglect. The stupid rocks had grown complacent in their waiting in their silence.
Out of nowhere, three eyeballs were staring at me. It was at that moment my own self-consciousness struck me: I was fully clothed. And I wished to God that he could make me The Little Mermaid like I always wanted to be when I was a little girl. Make me Ariel so they'd stop staring. Did they want tricks? Want me to swim circles for them? Did I look like a dog? I would amuse them on my own time, if I felt so inclined. A sense of exhilaration passed over me and I gaped back at the Eyes. I nursed my triumph on the inside, the victory of resistance. But they didn't stop staring. I was angry suddenly. And I was angry at Seaweed who hadn't said a word since my arrival! It was his fault, he should have done something! I cried and yelled at Seaweed and the tears felt like nothing to me nothing like the relief crying should give. It caused a physical pain and my eyes throbbed. The heat and burn from the pain washed over my body and I screamed so loud I thought the Eyes could hear me until I remembered the Eyes have no ears. I looked at the Eyes and they were red, Seaweed was red. The water was crimson like blood and it burned through my skin. I could see each finger and hand and foot and toe disappear like it was never there. My head disappeared, I felt it, but I could still see. I saw my chest disintegrate and leave a cartoon heart floating in the place where my body was. And my heart sunk lower and lower until it hit the pebbles. My invisible eyes blinked and when I opened them again my heart was gone. It was a tiny neon rock like the rest.