In the small fishing village of Nairdewell, a storm gathered silently above the horizon. Fishermen with keen eyes marked the growing darkness with a sense of apprehension. Storms were always a plague on a normal fishing village. Waves would swell, and boats would rock, and houses might crumble under the sustained onslaught of water and wind. Fortunately, Nairdewell was unlike most normal fishing villages. Landlocked on all sides and a hundred leagues from the sea the village sustained itself on the fallout of the nearby Wizarding School, who would regularly fire off spells into the sky, creating an unstable magical field. The reason, the wizards would say, was pure quantum, but the wizards tended to use that when there was no other explanation.
And so, the village gathered with giant funnels on the village green and all were warned to stay in the basement if not catching fish. Several months ago, a particularly plump trout had concussed Goody Gosling right through her roof.
What was my first reaction the day the fish fell from the sky?
To be honest, I was miffed because I had just washed my pickup. Here it was, the middle of August, and one dark little cloud appeared from out of the south. Everyone was looking forward to another hot Texas afternoon, when all of a sudden, it starts raining fish.
I was on the freeway home from Best Buy, the traffic moving relatively smoothly. The dark cloud came over, blocking the sun momentarily, and then poof, fish. When the first guppy appeared on my windshield, I thought a gull had flown by and dropped it from its mouth. Or maybe it was like that buzzard last summer that got the bright idea to urp in mid-flight and regurgitate its last supper onto my windshield.
But that wasn’t the case, obviously. The one guppy stared back at me as I tried to merge onto I-35W, and I had to swerve to miss a BMW that had come to a crawl. I could handle one guppy. But then there were two, then four, then ten, then a hundred.
A heartbeat later, the sky was filled with falling fish. My mouth dropped open, just as I am sure it did on every other driver on I-35W. Cars slammed on their brakes and I heard brakes squeal all around me. The BMW, even going a slow as it was, started to slide as the tires lost traction on the fishes smeared all over the road.
I kept my wits about me and pulled onto the shoulder of the freeway. I heard crash after crash, some near and others far away. I stayed in my truck, even though my impulse was to jump out and look up to see who was dumping fish from the sky. I had the foresight to realize what it would feel like to be pelted like fish, not to mention the danger of insane drivers who were still slipping and sliding on the pavement.
I switched on the radio to see if I could learn anything.
A young woman clasped her raincoat against the determined wind. Holding no umbrella, what appeared to be usually boisterous curls matted themselves against her face. With an inaudable sigh, she waited for the cross walk to turn on so she could finish her walk. Traffic was bad and she had been standing at this particular street for the past four minutes. Keeping her eye on the blinking light appeared difficult as the rain drove into her upturned face and she often looked down, futilely trying to wipe water from her eyes. It was at one of these moments that something soft and lumpy fell on her head. Gasping as the object slid down her head onto her neck, the woman’s face showed her hope that it was just a large raindrop as she reached back towards her collar. Her face blanched as she closed her hand around something wet and squishy. As she brought it before her eyes, other fish began to fall around her. Not many, but enough to make her eyes widen and a small scream issue forth from her lips. As more small fish fell, she rushed into the road, unmindful of the potential traffic from passing cars. Worry was unnecessary however, as drivers stopped at the realization that fish were accumulating on the hoods of their cars.
In the city of Kalinstrom there was a young man named Kai. He was well known in the city as a kind-hearted person to everyone. He also was the son of the founder of Kalinstrom. Kai was also well known for his honesty. He never tried to cheat the shop-keepers and never tried to wheedle his way into getting special treatment for being Kai Kalinstrom. One summer day as he was walking in the city he felt a drop on his dead. He looked up in the sky, but didn’t see any rain falling. He felt the top of his head but didn’t feel the usual wetness that accompanies rain. Puzzled, he continues his walk, greeting everyone by name and enjoying his exercise. He makes his way towards the park in the center of the city. It is a peaceful place, filled with sweet smelling blossoms and a lovely view of the mountains that surround the city. He spies a nice spot of shade and decides to sit on the sweet smelling grass and enjoy some lounge time. As he sprawls in the grass he feels a plop on his shoe. He looks down and sees. . . A goldfish??? What in the world is a goldfish doing on his shoe. He sits up and picks up the goldfish, and twirls it around in his hand, marveling at its sparkle in the sky. It was about 3 cm across and 2 cm tall and made of, what he believed to be 24 carat gold. As he ponders this occurrence he notices that the clouds are moving in. A rainstorm must be coming. As he rushed towards Kalinstrom he feels millions of pops on his head and as he looks at his surroundings he realizes that it is raining goldfish. There are millions and trillions up quadrillions of goldfish on the ground. He stops in shock. People begin to run out of their homes and look at wonder. From then on, Kalinstrom became the most kind-hearted honest city. Also, it never rained goldfish again.
"The only true equalisers in the world are books; the only treasure-house open to all comers is a library; the only wealth which will not decay is knowledge; the only jewel which you can carry beyond the grave is wisdom." - J. A. Langford
Kevin ducked down as a tree branch swung backward, nearly smacking him in the face. Uncle Ralph, a burly man dressed in torn jeans and a red plaid shirt, trotted on ahead as though he had gone this way many times. In one hand he carried a bucket; in the other, a hunting rifle.
“Gettin’ supper,” Uncle Ralph called back.
Supper? Kevin thought. Were they hunting? If so, he should have stayed back at the trailer house. Oh, well. Someone had to stick around to make sure no one mistook Uncle Ralph for a grizzly. At last the pair came out into an open space with a large pond situated in the center.
Here Uncle Ralph stopped, set the bucket down, and pulled a small round object out of his pocket.
“Now what are we doing?”
“Just what I said,” the old man replied. “Gettin’ supper.”
Kevin opened his mouth to speak, then gave a start when his uncle pulled a little pin out of the round object he held.
“Uncle Ralph, is that a-?”
“Plug your ears,” the older man interrupted, tossing the object into the pond.
Kevin stumbled backward, his ears ringing with the explosion. Instantly water went flying everywhere, drenching the city-raised businessman and his sunburned uncle with a torrential downpour. The young man yelped when something cold hit his bare neck and bounced off.
“Fish?!” he exclaimed, disbelieving.
“Yep,” Uncle Ralph laughed, “but don’t worry, we only do this for guests. Leaves plenty of fish for next time.”
“What…but how…I didn’t think that was possible!” Kevin stuttered.
“For most folks,” Uncle Ralph grinned, picking up the fish and dropping them in the bucket. “This here is an art you can’t find in a museum.”
Post by Edward Cheever on Jan 12, 2012 18:04:33 GMT -6
Val watched the rain through the netting across the window glass. She could see the dark shadowy shapes of the cloud trout, like giant water drops, the sires of a million baby droplets all falling noses first to the waters below the High House. The roof above her pounded like a thousand drums as the scaled creatures landed on the tall sloped roof. The metal girders vibrated against the stone walls and pillars. She could hear the fish sliding along the great moss covered tiles until they slipped over the edge to plunge harmlessly to the ocean below.
“Valerie!” Her mother bellowed from below, “Go check the collectors, honey! It’s time to start breakfast!”
“Mooooom!” Valerie moaned in a loud voice, “Do we have to have the floppies for breakfast?”
“Honey, we haven’t gone to the grocer yet, and when the rolling skies provide, we say thanks.”
Val rolled her eyes and stared up into the clouds at the oceans above the High House. The waves danced and foamed, and at their lowest peaks the waters fell.