A Fish Named Wink
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I am a fish, a pink fish, swimming in an aquarium.

Residing in the open sea, closed within by a glass box. The water is as clear as the skies, with a sandy floor below. Fake coral and seaweed pierce through in kaleidoscope hues, coating my surroundings like a picket fence. A quaint little cave is where I spend my nightly rests.

The world beyond consists of shelves which reach the horizons, filled with a collection of books thick and thin. Between us is a vast wooden table occupied by several chairs. Strands of patterns are engraved in gold, constructing an intricate design and making it the highlight of the otherwise dull and monotonous atmosphere. Laid below is a grand, blood-stained carpet displaying a design similar to the spruce furniture, a rather complimenting choice.

My days are a series of strolls around this minute place, taking time to bury myself in the sand, tidy up my rocky abode and swim around the vibrant flora. Sometimes I try to puncture through the glass wall before me to see if I can break out and gander at what lies behind my blindspot but to no avail.

Occasionally, my owner enters the room — an old, stout man with greying hair. His furry brows block his eyes, and his skin looks like it had remained at sea for eternity. During those time drops, he comes in wearing his usual rose robe and sit in isolation, pouring himself a cup or two. He's a man of no words, lacks inconsistency, and plays out his life as a broken record. Though, he is kind enough to feed me, so I don't mind.

Yes, this is my life, my life as a pink peaceful fish. And there's nothing wrong with that. There isn't…

From time to time, however, I question myself: What is beyond these walls? What is past these invisible barriers and rows of stories? What world is waiting before the door to my left? These queries tend to circle my mind when I'm afloat. Every day, it feels the same. Same room, same environment, same timeline of events. Seven days a week, three sixty-five every year. Like a circle, it all comes to the same starting point. A cycle, throwing myself in a loop as I flop around in an ocean of regularity.

This sense of curiosity has always lingered around. Like the bubbles of exhales I let out, it's all in the air, only ever peaking through the surface before bursting. The thought dazzles my eyes, but maybe that's just the hanging chandelier speaking.

But who knows, maybe one day I'll find out, looking through the blinds and seeing what's under the shade.

One day my owner decides to leave a little present for my humble residence; he props a tiny treasure chest in the corner of the aquarium, surrounded by a finful of plastic gems. They all show a hint of shimmer in their likeliness, having me nod to this decision. It is quite the lovely gift, oh dear master.

It has a sort of cozy feel to it, like fighting off the winter with a blanket cape and a fire poker. Roughly painted brown and yellow but evoking a homely sense. It fits right in with the rest of this diamond view. I even notice a faint glow inside the chest, though I don't bother to check…

…or so I thought.

As the lights dim and the moon awakens, I cannot help but gaze at the brightness seeping through the tiny cracks. It radiates citrus rays, leaving a mark on its resting spot. It dances around in my brain, taunting me with how it glimmers in the dusty dusk. It's almost as if it's calling to me, pulling me in with a fading whisper. I can hear it saying my name.

And so, I give in.

I tread below the chest's lock and attempt to push it upwards. East to west goes my body as I put all my might into prying it open. I hold my breath, only letting go of each endeavour as its glow grows brighter and brighter. Never have I felt so exhausted doing something like this. It's almost exhilarating, in a sense.

With one last ditch effort, I free the captured light as it blinds me and drowns my world in a shade of white.

The first few moments are of silence. But, as my vision returns to me, I find myself before another bookshelf. This time, it's filled to the brim with tales of pastels. Before I realize it, I notice the lack of water around me and how I can still swim normally despite that. This place isn't the aquarium I reside in, nor is this a world I recognize.

Everything beyond me is a landscape of shelves and stories, stretching as far as the eye can see. Creatures of all shapes and sizes roam the streets of stories as they pick from an endless amount of choices. Even the bubbles I produce take unique, geometrical forms as they flutter to a galactic sky. The dots in the night are like blots on a canvas. The atmosphere has never gotten painted with so much care.

I blink, then blink again. I almost lose my breath as my eyes trail into an ocean of pages and ink. This tingling curiosity returns as a chest of opportunities opens before me. It's a time to learn, a time to read, a time to wonder. I can feel the adrenaline building up as I lay my eyes before such a peculiar place.

Before I venture into the wilderness, a woman catches me in my tracks; a hazelnut grandma with a serpent on her arm. She adjusts her glasses and pulls up her cloak, asking me with a warm grin, "Fish, what is your name?"

I stare at her for a second, then two. She stares me back with sincerity. For some reason, I see a warmth in her eyes. After letting the question simmer, I answer:

"My name is… My name is Wink."

I am a fish, a pink fish, wandering in a library.

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