Hook        
  
  As I do every night I took just a sip of water before I
went to bed. If I drink more, I wake up in the middle of the
night for a trip to bathroom and the tormenting insomnia
afterward is inevitable. I’ve learned by experience that
water at night epitomizes shattered dreams and painful
awakening. Then I tucked myself in and just before
closing my eyes, I glanced at the image of myself
victoriously parading my prized catch dangling from the
fishing line wrapped around my wrist hanging in the frame
above my bed.

  That day I skillfully kept my bait just a tad below the
surface and held the pole straight up in the air making
sure the fish doesn’t sense its presence. Then I wobbled
the pole to bring the bait to life and to lure the fish. From
time to time, I sensed a nibbling on my bait but I didn’t
react, I knew better, I was not after the little ones.
Patience is the key to success and sure enough it paid
off handsomely again. In a matter of minutes an
enormous fish as large as its predator opened his mouth
wide to snatch its prey and in one swift tug of the line at
the precise moment I had him hooked.

  Every lasting second of that ecstasy is vividly engraved
on my brain and stayed with me throughout the years
and the snapshot of the reward immortalized on my
bedroom wall. I even secured the same fishing line tied to
the original hook dangling over the picture of the fish’s
mouth to give my trophy the bitter taste of the harsh
reality. The superimposition of the real hook on the
image was a genius idea. The hook in the lifeless
creature’s mouth sparkled in my dark room for years to
come.

Since then, his opaque black eyes pierced through me as
painfully as the solid bronze hook pierced his blood-
crusted mouth.

  That night I went to sleep and despite all my
precautions, I woke in middle of the night. As I barely
opened my eyes to check the time, I noticed the glowing
3:00 am on the digital clock dancing in the dark. Then I
realized I was floating on rising water. My bed was in
water along with everything else in the room. The entire
house was flooded. I’d had many bizarre nightmares but
this one was unbelievable because it was not one.

  Every piece of furniture in the house was either
submerged or was floating in the house. I managed to
open the window just to witness the entire neighborhood
sharing the same destiny.  I swam outside and faced a
raging river running where the street was yesterday.
People, pets and furniture were all afloat. The eerie
tranquility hovering over this catastrophe was
incomprehensible. Everyone was calm. Most people were
still asleep in their beds on the river. I saw a man and a
woman making love, babies were in sound sleep in their
cradles and I could hear dogs snoring, all on the waves.

  The water was washing everyone away, yet no one was
alarmed. I could go back to sleep and drift away with the
flow but decided to stay home and embrace my new life.

  It took me some time but I adapted to my new
environment and gradually morphed into an aquatic
creature. The only thing water took away from me was my
memories. Later, I grew scales on my skin and several
sets of fins. Then I developed a new respiratory system
that allowed me to immerse in water for as long as I
wished. I have a tail to provide thrust and acceleration
while I swim. My eyesight evolved to adapt to my marine
environment and now I can masterfully dodge the
obstacles in my way in the darkness.   

  I feed on bugs, worms, flies and gnats and occasionally
a fish or two if I happen to stumble across one. I freely
roam around my natural habitat but I’m not immune to
pain.  I’ve scarred myself numerously when I tried to
tunnel through the disintegrating furniture of my house
but I always managed to escape dangers throughout my
life as a fish.

  One day that I was so hungry desperately searching for
food, I noticed the shadow of a fish flapping his tail on the
water in bedroom. Hysterically, I rushed to snatch my
prey, emerged from water, opened my mouth wide and
swallowed the fish in one swift action and suddenly a
piece of sharp metal ripped my mouth. The more I
struggled to free myself, the harder the razor edge barbs
on the hook injured my face. Finally I stopped resisting as
I realized how securely the hook was wedged in my flesh.

  From that day on, my entire body flaps in the water
while my head is stuck above surface with my mouth wide
open. I ingest bugs and flies if they accidentally get
trapped in my mouth and that’s how I survive. Every night
before I go to sleep, I see the victorious look on the man’
s face holding me by the fishing line wrapped around his
wrist parading his prized catch.

Since then, his opaque black eyes pierced through me as
painfully as the solid bronze hook pierced his blood-
crusted mouth.