CuiousPages - fiction and nonfiction
CuriousPages - fiction and nonfiction
Hass asked, “Where are you staying? Will you be here long?”
As he asked this, I caught a glimpse of Fear passing by our table, who whispered to me: “He has come for you. He has a knife.”
I started to speak, to block the sound out: “I’m staying here tonight. I’ve booked a room.”
We continued talking, but Hass talked less and less, due, probably, to the suppressed excitement I could tell he was struggling to contain, like the excitement of a boy who had been told he had a special gift waiting for him if only he could keep it secret. He managed as well as any excited boy could, but I was fully aware of the rising tide of desire within him as we walked across the warm sands towards my room—I recognised this so readily since I was attempting to keep the same secret. We entered the shade of my room and as our eyes met I again heard that telepathic whimper, and again, though I was hearing it inside my head, it also sounded as though coming from nearby, perhaps just outside the room.
“Did you hear that?” I asked.
“Hear what?” His suppressed excitement was now making it difficult for him to speak.
Fear had stepped into the room, for I glimpsed him standing in the corner, and he whispered, “It’s a trap. His friends will be here soon to kidnap you. He has a knife. He will pull it out soon,” but then I heard no more; I could only see Hass’s face.
We made a drink and sat at a table and as we continued talking, there seemed to be something familiar in his dark eyes, as though—from within his eyes—I could see myself looking back out at me, but myself from somewhere back in my childhood; or perhaps it was Hass’s soul from back within his own childhood—and it seemed like an innocent, romantic, simple child who just wanted to be loved and had no other worldly concerns.
“I’ve never been here before,” he told me, meaning the beach resort.
“No, me neither,” I said and we both laughed.
“Of course you haven’t,” he told me; “you don’t live here.”
Over the past year, this little oversight of Sally’s resulted in an unpleasant situation in the goldfish bowl. In the beginning, Bruce taunted Sheila about his name—Bruce finding it immensely funny that Sheila had such a sissy, girlie name. And Bruce went on taunting Sheila for several months, until even Bruce eventually became tired of the joke. But to Sheila, Bruce’s “bit of fun” just seemed like wanton mockery. And right to this day, Sheila never forgot about it. But since (from Bruce’s point of view) it was all merely a bit of fun, Bruce could never understand Sheila’s reaction. Bruce (as far as he could see) had never done anything to hurt Sheila, so it always seemed that Sheila was behaving in a “moody” or “argumentative” way merely for the sake of it.
In this way, over the past year (as a result of Sally’s “help’) the relationship between the two fish became somewhat strained.
Bruce Softly was leisurely circling the goldfish bowl and then came to rest beside Sheila Softly.
Sheila said, almost spitting the words out, “There you are, Bruce!”
Bruce said, cautiously, “Yes... here I am, Sheila—”
“Well, where’ve you been?”
Bruce tried to glance casually out of the bowl while saying, “Oh, just swimming round the bowl, Sheila, just—”
“You didn’t tell me, Bruce; I might have wanted to come.”
Bruce sighed, “You can always come next time, Sheila.”
“But that’s not the point—you know I like to swim round the bowl.”
Bruce snapped, “You’re pathetic!”
“You’re pathetic—you should have told me.”
“I’ll tell you next time, alright—!”
“Are you shouting at me, Bruce?”
“Yes you are.”
“I’m not!”
“You are!”
“I’m not! I’m not! Okay—?”
Sheila looked away and said nothing.
Bruce shouted, “Alright if I breathe, is it—?”
Sheila said nothing.
Bruce snapped, “Right! I’m going for a swim round the bowl—you coming?”
Sheila continued peering silently out of the bowl.
Bruce said, “Right... I’m going then—”
“Don’t say I didn’t—”
Sheila shouted, “Just go!”
“Right—” Bruce turned, glanced back at Sheila, looked away, glanced back at him again, then angrily swam off.
Sheila sighed, glanced up at Bruce, then looked away and sighed again. Bruce swam by above him, angrily glancing down at him. Sheila continued looking away and merely sighed yet again—but this time even more deeply.

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