Goldfish for Dinner Part 2
Roydu smiled up at Tarah. “You are a good friend. You fulfilled your promise to me.”
Tarah’s eyes were wide. “Of course. But, how did you come back to life?”
“I am a magical goldfish.”
“Magical? How come you never told me?”
The fish gulped in water and spit it out. “I never speak of such things and you never asked.”
Tarah trailed her fingers down his scaly back. “Roydu, I’m so glad you’re not dead. I would have missed you.”
Roydu nodded in agreement. “Has your brother stopped crying?”
Tarah wiped the dried tears off her checks. “Oh yes, his wails stopped after his first bite.”
“Very good.” Roydu bobbed in the water. He looked deep in thought. “Tomorrow I need you to steal a coin from your father.”
Tarah’s jaw dropped. “Steal, from my father. I could never do such a thing!”
Roydu’s face became very serious. “You must do as I say. I can cure him of his desire for drink.”
“Yes, yes. Run along inside to bed. Come to me in the morning with a coin. I must rest now.”
The next morning Tarah stood over the pond with a quarter in her hand.
“Roydu, I’m here. I have what you asked for.”
A stream of bubbles surfaced, seconds later Roydu’s orange head popped up.
“Good girl! Now put the coin into my mouth.”
Tarah did as he asked. Roydu swam around the pond in several circles. When he surfaced he spat the coin out.
“Put that in the bottom of your father’s coffee cup. He must drink out of the cup with that coin in it, but never know it is there. When he is finished put the coin back where you found it. When he spends that coin on drink it will taste sour.”
Tarah’s brows furrowed. “But, can’t he just use another coin to buy drink?”
Roydu smiled at the child’s innocence. “No dear friend, that coin will make all drink taste sour.”
Tarah’s eyebrows raised as it dawned on her. “Ohhhh. First you let us eat you, then you stop my father from drinking. Why are you doing this?”
Roydu eyed the young girl with his large eyes. “I only have so many lives and one day you may need me, just as your mother did.”
Tarah shook her head. “I will never marry a man who spends his money on drink.”
Roydu nuzzled into her hand. “Of course you won’t, but sometimes the people you love change.”
Tarah knew Roydu was right. Her father had gone from a loving father to a drunkard in a matter of months.
Tarah’s lips curled into a sweet smile. “Well, at least I have you. You’ll never change.” Tarah gripped the coin tight in her palm and ran toward the house.
Roydu swam along the edge of the pool. He came across a green lily pad and rested his body against its softness. His tiny heart ached with worry. For months he had wanted to tell Tarah that he too would change one day, but found the words impossible to say.
- Goldfish for Dinner #fridayflash #flashfiction #samplesunday (laradunning.wordpress.com)
- Wayback Wednesday #WW The Price of Beauty #fridayflash #samplesunday (laradunning.wordpress.com)