I often had fish for pets during my college years....usually Beta fish. They were cheap. They only needed a small container to house them in, and they all had such pretty colors. However, my last year of college I must have been more adventurous than before. I went with a different variety of fish...and I got two!
My fish were happy black fish and each were about the size of my thumb [...only they were fatter. I have really skinny fingers]. I named one fish Velvet and the other Suede. I gave lots of attention to Velvet and Suede. They became accustomed to my fishbowl-warped face peering in through the glass into their watery abode. I provided them with colorful plants to weave in and out of, and I believe I even had a little castle for them to enjoy. They especially loved it when I put my finger in the water. They would swim around along the top of the bowl and allow me to stroke their wet bodies back and forth. Yes. Happy was the life of Velvet and Suede.
Until that fateful day...
...I awoke early for school that day. No time to waste when you have a 7am class waiting for you. However, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to give my lovelies a little stroke across their fish bodies before I headed out the door. I placed my fingertip just inside the water and waited for my fish to greet me. Velvet came up to the surface and I felt his little fins gently waft past my fingertip. I waited. Where was Suede?
I peeked down in the bowl to discover where Suede could possibly be hiding. He was not playing peek-a-boo in the plant. He was not resting in the window of his castle. He was not swimming along the edge of the bowl. He was not in the bowl at all!
How could this be? What had happened to Suede?
Then...to my horror, I see a little dark shape at the foot of the table. There sat my sweet little Suede. His poor fins were still. Not even struggling to move in this strange world of air and carpet.
I scooped him up quickly and put him back in his bowl of life-giving water. I watched. He didn't move around. He calmly floated around, bumping into the side of the wall, his beloved castle, and his pretty plant. Velvet stayed at the bottom of the bowl, as if trying to keep his distance from his brother.
I was going to be late for my class, so with a whisper of well wishes, I turned around and walked out the door. I thought of my sweet fish the whole day. It wasn't until later that evening, when I came home, that I realized what had happened...
Velvet: "I was always jealous of Suede. Suede had a longer top fin that flowed ever so nicely in the soft water. Suede was much faster [probably due to that longer fin] and often was the first to meet the human fingers atop the water to get some lovely stroking action. Unless I happened to be waiting at the top, he was first to get the food that sprinkled from above, and always got himself the biggest of the flakes. What an annoying pig.
"However, the biggest gripe I had with Suede was his name. Yes. His name: Suede. Doesn't that just scream quality? We all know that Velvet is just a knock-off. It's like a hot dog...just a bunch of leftovers...processed into something...and then sold at a cheap price. Oh, how I hated Suede!
"I waited until the humans had turned off the lights. At that point, I knew I would have a few hours before any of them noticed what had happened. By then, it would be too late! I started swimming casually until the soft lull of the water rocked Suede to sleep. Without disrupting him, I increased my speed, little by little, until I was circling the bowl faster than Suede had ever swam! Two more laps, and Suede will have floated into just the right position....One more lap....here I go!
"I pushed into Suede with all my built up momentum, sending him flying away, filled with my inertia. The force of the hit carried him up, out of the water, and onto the table that supported our home. Well...my home now.
"I watched Suede struggle and flop around on the table, trying with all his might to get back into the water. Guess that extra long fin won't help you now, I thought. With all his flopping, he moved closer and closer to the edge of the table until....down he went. I could no longer see him. He was gone. Never again would I have to suffer with my inadequacies next to him. I was free! Free to be the fish I had always wanted to be....
...And that, my friends, is the true tale of the underwater homicide.