It is a funny thing about fish.
They are often thought to be stupid and pointless creatures. For example, I once asked my mother-in-law why she had not left any plants or toys in her fishbowl for her clownfish to explore. “Well what is the point?” she told me. “Fish only remember things for three seconds anyway.” Then she smiled smugly as if she was the world expert in the cognitive abilities of fish.
I have since learnt to ignore the mad nattering of my mother-in-law, fish are actually one of the most clever and fascinating creatures in the world. They in fact have excellent memories.
Therefore, it was most unusual when Belial awoke in his tank to hear strange pattering sound with no recollection of ever hearing it before. It was difficult for him to become properly curious though for he was drifting in the strange sleep stupor where one is trapped in a land halfway between dreams and wakefulness.
There was no knowing how long the sound had been going on for. It was like when you are lying in bed waiting to succumb to sleep when you suddenly notice a drip dripping noise. You realise that the last person to use the bathroom had neglected to turn the tap off enough to stop little droplets of water from escaping and hitting the ceramic below. The sound gets right inside your head, cutting through your dreams, making it impossible to sleep. Getting up is out of the question however, you are much too cosy and comfy snuggled to leave your duvet cave. Also, you cannot let yourself be defeated by a simple tap. So you spend hours lying awake, wondering what you have done to deserve this slow torture.
However what disturbed Belial’s sleep was not the sound of rogue water dropping into a sink; it was the sound of a finger tapping against glass.
Finally Belial could ignore it no longer. He darted out of the little castle and peered out between some seaweed. And then he wished he hadn’t.
Even the most diplomatic person in the world could not describe his owner as a good looking man. However, with his face squashed against the side, he just looked positively grotesque. His bulbous...