Published in Dark Mountain: Issue 13
At Deception Pond small fish believe they are giants, titans of the deep. When raindrops pelt the surface the fish declare a state of emergency, round up all the caddis fly larvae and charge them with breaking the sky. They detain them in discarded beer cans without benefit of trial or legal representation. Meanwhile, the fish dispatch midges to repair the sky. The fish eat a few midges in front of the others to motivate a diligent work ethic. The midges do an excellent job (although really, the rain has simply stopped). The fish hold a parade in honour of the midges but accidentally devour them in their lust. A marching band of aquatic snails pounds out a beat on timpani of sodden candy bar wrappers. The rhythm triggers a seizure of group fornication. A darkness befalls the pond as the muddy bottom is flicked to the top. When the silt settles, the pond has turned anaerobic. The fish gasp, roll their eyes, heave red gills open and closed like a demon’s bellows. They blame this sabotage on the caddis fly larvae, who must have escaped their beer cans. The sun is now bright upon the airless pond. The fish still believe they are titans but must seek cover to regroup. They school into shady water along the edge, unaware it is the shadow of a heron.