Pond People 26

Breaking Down. Something was wrong with the pump. Here we go again thought Molly, but this time Mother noticed straight away. ‘Henry, can you take a look at the aquarium pump? It’s vibrating, but there are no bubbles.’ It took Father most of the day to get the pump working properly. Mother kept out of … Continue reading Pond People 26

Pond People 25

Breaking Up. Andre was intrigued by the sudden appearance of a bed of plant debris lining the gravel. To Flash’s amusement, the boy set up tests to try and determine how intelligent the fish were. He devised different casings for the brine shrimps to see if the fish could get into them. After baiting his … Continue reading Pond People 25

Pond People 24

Do Something! Flo came to find Molly. ‘I’m worried about Grandad. He’s a funny colour and his breathing’s sort of… gurgly. Amber’s gasping and Walt won’t leave her.’ She pushed back wisps of hair from her troubled eyes. ‘Eddy’s trying to be tough, but he isn’t looking good either. I don’t know how long he’ll … Continue reading Pond People 24

Pond People 23

Happy New Year. More weeks passed. The mirlings recovered from the family’s holiday. The shelters they’d made for themselves behind the plants became more home-like. The children brought their friends to see the tank, and the mirlings learned humans weren’t all the same colour after all, although the range was limited. They brightened their unexciting … Continue reading Pond People 23

Pond People 22

Scents of Home. When the family came home there was little movement in the tank. The fish hung listlessly in the water or rested on the gravel. Flash had stopped looking out for humans and crawled into cover as the children bounded into the kitchen. Andre paused by the tank. ‘What’s that smell?’ ‘Yeuch!’ ‘It’s … Continue reading Pond People 22

Pond People 21

Holiday. Time passed. The school holiday arrived and the children were around all day. Every day. Flash learned to understand human-speak as well as the pond mirlings did. Andre caught sight of Sylva one morning as she swam back into the weed and decided the fish must have spawned. Not realising how unlikely that was … Continue reading Pond People 21

Pond People 20

Dreams. Flash hadn’t told anyone about his nightmares. When he first joined the pond, he would dream every night that he was back in the pet shop. Over time, the dreams came less often and, although his confidence was dented by his encounter with the cat, the nightmare hadn’t returned. He could tell himself he … Continue reading Pond People 20

Pond People 19

Home Improvements. Each day, flakes were scattered on the water’s surface and the children’s father would watch the fish feed. One afternoon he brought home a carrier bag which he placed on the table. It bore a picture of a strange fish which had a smile that Molly thought wasn’t at all fish-like. ‘You’ve been … Continue reading Pond People 19