Something about this seems fishy, though your intent was far from punny, something about this situation seemed off, almost abusive, as you watched them transporting the fish from their containers to the mound just outside the half-covered rooftop.
“Hey wait a minute.” you said to your new friend. “You said they deliver these fish for what again?” your inquisitive mind couldn’t help but give followup to the young villager as your mind took in this elaborate ritual.
"They are taken care of by the other kingdoms around this land, our people have been delivering these sacred beasts to every corner of the region, from north to south, and to even the far out reaches of the country just to spread the good word of what a fish can bring to a household." the young man's voice was an unwavering cheerful force as he explained their ancient practices.
"And by taken care of… Do you mean… eaten?" You said with a thick sliver of doubt in your mind. Surely they couldn't have simply assumed that every fish they sent out had been cared for as a pet.
"Why, of course!" He said, his confidence was unwavering.
"I'm going to be honest with you…But that's not at all true." Your tone was solemn and to the point.
"Wait… What do you mean?" His furrowed brow caused your stomach to fill with anxiety. for a moment, the only thing the two of you exchanged was weary looks at the congregants careening heavy buckets upwards with a furry passion.
"What I mean is…Throughout The kingdoms, fish is like, a delicacy" it took a while for him to absorb your words.
"Delicacy.. wait. You mean like…?" He paused, but you knew what he was about to say. In an instant you took the words out of his mouth.
"Yes. Like…Eaten?" You said awkwardly. This caused the young man to nearly jump in surprise.
"No… That can't be right." His defiance only caused your lump of anxiety to grow even more.
"Well believe it or not, it kinda is." You shrugged, yet your concern for this insane folly only drove you to argue even harder. "If they 'take care' of the fish in the way you think, then why do you have to keep on exporting fish every week?"
"Huh…" his gaze fell to the hardwood floorboards. That was it! Your question had clearly challenged his thinking. "Every year more people are born, the kingdoms are huge, so there are always new people to bring the joy of pescs to!" In an instant the successful feeling wavered.
"Ugh," you rolled your eyes, crossing your arms, and your argumentative nature began to take over. "Do you really think everyone out there has like ten pet fish? How can a newborn even-"
"LISTEN" he belted out. The crowd became a bit more silent, taking a subtle interest in your shared conversation. "What you are saying to me, is that the whole world takes us as a laughingstock?! I just can't believe that." he flailed his arms in frustration.
"Wait what?" What was going on here?!
"Yeah, and you must know it too!"
"No, I'm just trying to help you-"
"Help what? destroy our long reining heritage?! This was how we rose to power and you're saying nobody ever in the world could respect that? That we've been lied to all our lives?!"
"Huh, maybe the last thing." You said with sass. At this point, you noticed the others angrily crowding around you two, spitting quiet slurs and curses at you. Clearly their prince had known best, and by the time they began grabbing at your bright pink dress, lighting tithes afire from nearby candles, and closing the enormous double doors you realized it was your time to go?
Without a word your last defense mechanism was activated. In a single loud flatulence-like blast, you sprayed your stink into the enclosed room. The gaseous substance was enough to singe the eyebrows of those who had lit the fires. In the time the smoke cleared, you climbed out of the ceiling window.
From below you watched them exiting the building and searching for you like an angry mob. At the same time, you felt something vibrating under you. The truck had powered up! It was quickly carting you away to the rest of the kingdoms.
You had no idea where you were going to go next, or even if you would be safe riding in the smelly pile of fish. At least you were safe. For now.
Despite your efforts, the town seemed to be a lost cause, their complacency knew no bounds, but hey, at least you were headed to be sold or whatever, you seemed to doubt yourself about the true fate of these fish.
"I guess I'll just have to figure out myself" you thought to yourself quietly. A long ride was before you, but you seemed to have forgotten something?
Written by Driftingdragon on 10 September 2020
The end (for now)