A free flash fiction piece by Siri Paulson
There’s a new fad in town. It took me ages to win over the ‘rents. Too much upkeep, they said, even though I promised to take care of it. Too big, too expensive, too dangerous, the aquarium wouldn’t match the rec room decor. But I knew they’d give in. Can’t be those parents.
My dad still doesn’t like the new pet. Too creepy, as if it’s watching him as it swims. But I like that. I watch it and it watches me back as it circles the tank, lifting to breathe, the water closing again over its domed head and webbed feet. It’s as long as I am, and the aquarium takes up half of the rec room, where the VR used to be, but this is better than VR. Not human but not just fish anymore, smart but not really intelligent – the ads promised you could teach them tricks, showed them moving in tandem in different labs. But I don’t want mine to be tamed.