Goldfish for Dinner #fridayflash #tuesdayserial #flashfiction #samplesunday

A Ranchu goldfish (Carassius auratus) from The...
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Goldfish for Dinner

     Tarah ran to the pond in her back yard and sat on the stone edge. Tears streamed down her face.

“Roydu. Roydu.”

Bubbles popped on the surface of the water. An orange fish nose protruded. “What is it Tarah? Why are you crying?”

“Mom says she’s going to cook you up for dinner!”

“For DINNER!” Roydu’s eyes widened, his tail slapped against the water.

“We have no food in the cubbards. Dad has spent all our money on drink again. My baby brother won’t stop crying and mother says you are the only thing left to eat.”

Roydu squirted a stream of water out. “But, I am not a goldfish you eat.”

“That’s what I told her, but she said a hungry child is a hungry child.”

     The goldfish ducked under the water, a handful of bubbles surfaced. Tarah looked back at the house. She could see her mother staring at her from the kitchen window.

“Roydu, what are we going to do?”

Roydu peaked his head out. “The only thing I can do. Your family will eat me for dinner. With my flesh in their stomaches they will not feel hungry for days.”

Tarah’s jaw dropped. “But how can we do that! You’re my best friend.”

The fish winked. “And I will be again. But, you must remember to do one thing for me.”

“What? ”

“You must return my bones to this pond when the moon rises. Can you do that for me?”

     Tarah shook her head. A shadow fell over her orange friend. Seconds later he was ripped from the water, cooked in a stew and placed in front of her to eat. Tarah tried to eat as little as possible, but her mother’s prodding fingers proved hard to avoid. After dinner Tarah gathered up the bones. When the moon rose she tiptoed to the pond and placed them into the water.

     Tarah watched the bones and thought of all the good times she had with her friend who was quite smart and funny for a goldfish. Tarah’s tears fell like rain into the pond. She sat there until the moon could be seen in the reflection of the water. Suddenly, it flashed a brilliant white. When the light faded, Roydu was there smiling at her.

This was inspired by a goldfish vase I saw on Antiques Roadshow.

#fridayflash #flashfiction


40 Comments Add yours

  1. AnnMarie says:

    very pretty story!

  2. Helen says:

    Oh I loved this, having a pond full of goldfish myself, the idea of eating them would just be impossible. That poor child, yet magic was in the air and the fish returned to her, along with a big smile on my face! ^__^

    1. Lara Dunning says:

      How cool! My parents had a pond of goldfish for awhile, but the raccons kept eating them. Yes, Roydu is much more than he appears.

  3. Icy Sedgwick says:

    Oh that’s such a sweet little story – so glad he’s back! Brings a little magic into my Friday morning.

    1. Lara Dunning says:

      Thanks Icy. After I visualized Roydu in my head, I had a hard time killing him off for good.

  4. John Wiswell says:

    Haha, I like that the anthropomorphic children’s story came from Antiques Road Show. Our stories share an aesthetic this week.

    1. Lara Dunning says:

      My hubs is addicted to Antiques Roadshow. This week his addiction proved useful for mine.

  5. Beautiful story. Great writers find inspiration anywhere. Antiques Roadshow could inspire myriad tales.

  6. Beautiful story. Great writers find inspiration anywhere. Antiques Road Show offers great fodder.

    1. Lara Dunning says:

      Thanks Kathleen. A picture can lead to a one word and that one word can lead to whole a story.

  7. If it is possible, I am enjoying these flash friday stories as much as the novel chapters. I cheered for the goldfish and the kid … thanks 🙂

    1. Lara Dunning says:

      Thank you Florence! Flash stories are perfect for my busy summer.

  8. Emmy Le says:

    The story is so cute. I like strong character, such as the gold fish, sacrificing himself to save others. I enjoy it!

    1. Lara Dunning says:

      Yes, I like stories where animals are more in touch with the balance of life, than a human might be aware of or believe in. Thank you!

  9. Sonia Lal says:

    aww such a sweet story. glad the goldfish came back! the antique road show thing is funny. lol

    1. Lara Dunning says:

      I’m more of visual prompt person and that goldfish vase did the trick.

  10. Anne Michaud says:

    Fellow ARS fan, I loved this story – so cute with a slice of dark…

    1. Lara Dunning says:

      Thank you! I wanted the charm of innocence to prevail.

  11. Steve Green says:

    Ah, now the family will never go hungry, Roydu can be eaten again, and again, and again… 🙂

  12. Steve Green says:

    Ah, now the family will never go hungry, Roydu can be eaten again, and again, and again… 🙂

    1. Lara Dunning says:

      When I wrote that I thought uh oh, now the mom will always want to eat Roydu. Tarah will have to hide him somewhere safe.

  13. Spot says:

    What a sweet fantasy piece. It had a folk tale vibe to it! Great story!


  14. Rebecca Emin says:

    What a sweet story! So glad it had a happy ending :o) Magical.

  15. Wow, that’s an ugly goldfish! Where did you get the name from? I love it. I also like the faith the girl places in Roydu. She needed it to get through that meal. Touching with a supernatural twist.

    1. Lara Dunning says:

      Hello Justin. I just made the name up. Thanks for commenting! Glad you back from your break. I hope you enjoyed your time away from everything.

  16. What a sweet story! There are so many facets of life reflected in the characters. Truly delightful 🙂

  17. Thanks for subscribing to my blog Lara. I enjoyed the goldfish story. A very unique twist to an enchanting flash fic (fish) tale (tail) heehee! Sorry couldn’t help the little similarities there. A fairytale ending for sure, and a good flash piece. Good story. 🙂

  18. Chuck Allen says:

    I love it! The friendship between the girl and the fish was so cute.

    I’ve had meals that came back to life later, too. But nothing like this. 🙂

  19. FARfetched says:

    I was also thinking Roydu would make another round trip to the stewpot and back to the pond. Or maybe he has a way to keep Dad from spending their grocery money on booze?

    Expanded, this would make a pretty awesome fairy tale…

  20. ~Tim says:

    Charming little tale. And I love that you were inspired by ARS.

  21. Aidan Fritz says:

    Well-crafted story. The title is a great lead-in and you captured this well. One quibble, when she shakes her head I’m unsure whether she agrees that she can do this or whether she’s disagreeing. This is very minor since later, it’s clear that she agreed. (Note, nodding is less equivocal.)

  22. KjM says:

    “…who was quite smart and funny for a goldfish”

    And more than that, it would seem. A lovely fairy tale, Lara.

    Nicely done.

  23. Lovely story Lara – feels like you’ve invented a brand new tale. It was short, but entirely satisfying (unlike a goldfish supper, I’m sure).

    Off to watch some re-runs of the Antiques Roadshow 😉


    1. Lara Dunning says:

      LOL, probably just a bite or two.

  24. adampb says:

    Inspiration comes from the most unlikely of places. Cool story. Wonder if Nemo would make a good meal.
    Adam B @revhappiness

  25. brainhaze says:

    Lovely piece – short, with a jolly twist. great stuff

  26. akweelife says:

    That is such a good story! I love the bond between the two friends and how you presented the self-sacrifice leading to renewal and life. It was a touching story that dealt with some really deep topics that often get made very heavy to deal with. I really enjoed the light feel to your story, yet it had such great depth.

    Very good!
    Nameless (Serial)
    Kwee Writings

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