Thursday, January 08, 2009


Maxwell the fish sat1 on the bottom, looking up at the top of the water, which to him seemed the graceless lid of some infinite jar that concealed from him the rest of the world. He didn't know what was outside, or if anything was outside at all, but that was a risk with consequences he was fully willing to accept. He didn't dare tell anyone for fear of being mocked2. On days when he was feeling reckless, he would swim as close to the surface as possible almost grazing it with his fins. When he was feeling melancholy, he would sit listlessly on the bottom, looking up. Today he was reckless. Today he had woken up with purpose3. Today was the day he was going to change everything4!
He swam upwards. Closer and closer to the glassy surface, speeding up as he went, for if he didn't he knew that he never would break through the barrier. Eventually he did, coming to the surface. It was beyond his comprehension; the vast, untapped potential of everything that lay before him. There was a beach with palm trees swaying in the breeze5. He swam toward it, his tiny fish heart swelling with the majesty of this new world he had uncovered. He briefly considered going back and trying to convince others to come with him. But he knew they wouldn't, so he swam toward the beach, his excitement with the untapped potential that lay before him surpassing his sadness of abandoning his friends and family.
He set his fin on the beach, feeling the the fin grains of sand on his scales6. Maxwell looked back at the sea, "Soon they'll come" he though to himself.

1. Or rather swam in a static manner, as fish don't really have the necessary equipment to sit in the way we understand it. Semantics aside, Maxwell's manner of swimming as such, roughly corresponds to sitting.
2. Either for his foolishness in daring to leave the water, or for his hubris is thinking that he was special and "on to something".
4. Talk about hubris!
5. Concepts of "beach" and "trees" are foreign to Maxwell, but with you and I being familiar with them, I will use them for the sake of simplicity.
6. It is the reader's whim to decide if Maxwell is a species of fish that can survive out of water, an amphibian who doesn't know it, or something else.

This post is an installment in a continuing series of content coordinated by theme or motif with posts from Enoch Allred of Chiltingham, John Allred of clol Town, Jon Fairbanks of Funkadelic Freestylings of Another Sort, John D. Moore of Whatnot Studios, Joseph Schlegel of Sour Mayonnaise, and William C. Stewart of Chide, Chode, Chidden. This week's theme: 'Exodus'.


Blogger Yarjka said...

In response to footnote 6: Maxwell is a fish that can not survive out of water. He will die in a matter of seconds ... such is the fate of one with excessive hubris.

8:20 PM  
Blogger Volker The Fiddler said...

The fool!

3:26 PM  
Blogger John D. Moore said...

I will not condemn Maxwell for his hubris. The most important of advances are often made by individuals of great hubris.

When I read footnote #6, it transformed my image of Maxwell into a modern dary businessman. It was a humorous image.

4:03 PM  
Blogger Thirdmango said...

This makes me want to write a story with footnotes, well done sir.

3:19 AM  

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