For complete access to IGMS...
Existing Users - Please Log In
|- - - - P r e v i e w - - - -|
The Life Cycles of Goldfish
by Jamie Lackey
Read by Stuart Jaffe
Listen to the audio version
The light in the fish tank started flickering. I have enough food to last one person
centuries, thousands of lightbulbs for every other fixture in the shelter, and more than enough
fish food to feed them for the rest of my life. But I don't have another light for the fish tank.
Will they die if it goes out?
Will they leave me completely alone?
I've rigged up three desk lamps, clipped to the stand and pointed at the tank from various
angles. I alternate them and the normal light, and the fish don't seem to notice a difference.
It's a huge relief.
I watch them swim, silver and orange scales flashing in the new angles of light. They're
alive. They're real.
I watch them for a long time.
The days blur together. I wake up, I exercise, I shower. I'm grateful that I don't have to
worry about losing power or running out of water. I'm grateful that I still have hot water, fluffy
towels, toilet paper. I really am.
After my shower, I usually read. I'm trying to teach myself how to play the flute, because I
found one in storage. It's something to do, anyway. I never thought I'd get tired of reading.
Sometimes I watch movies, but that's harder. It means actually seeing other people. Complete,
unbroken other people. Not like the ruins of humanity that shuffle past the observation cameras.
I don't look at the cameras, if I can help it.