Peace, Love, and Goldfish

Rain was what some would call an unruly child, although her parents, Heaven and Rastus, liked to think she had a natural love for the robust life. They had tried to channel her strange energy, but she never settled into any of the sublime paths they offered her, finding her own way, which was alright with them since they didn’t consider it their responsibility to decide which way the twig should be bent. Rain was, at times, as calm as the lake in early morning and at other times, she wrestled with the frenzy that attacked her and became a flying dust devil.

Lena, who had operated in more free love and peace than she needed back in the 60’s and 70’s, lived next door. She was pretty much over any ideals she’d ever held concerning cosmic harmony. The daisy and peace sign tattoo that sagged on her left thigh taunted her nightly in the bath.

Rain, ignoring boundaries when there was anything she found interesting, would often end up in Lena’s yard wading in the goldfish pond, laughing as she caught the fish with her hands. Lena had told her again and again that it wasn’t good for them. These admonitions seemed to slide off Rain’s memory just like the water off the gold fish as they lay flopping on the side of the pond while Rain examined them, running her fingers over their scales, touching their eyes, imitating their gasping mouths. Lena would hurry outside to the small pond, gather up the fish, and place them gently back into the water.

“Rain, don’t catch the fish. It rattles their scales when you take them out of the water.”

” I don’t hear no rattlin’.”

“Well, it’s not the kind of rattling you can hear.”

“How do you know it’s happening, then?”

“Cause fish were made to be in the water. They don’t feel at home when you take them out of it .”

This is my entry in this week’s Trifectra Writing Challenge.


Made with real cheese for that melt-in-your-mouth flavor you can’t resist.


About paulajwray

I am a writer and I live in the Rocky Mountains of southwest Colorado with my husband and a balding black cat. I write humor, flash fiction, creative non-fiction, inspirational essays, and poetry. When I'm not writing, making lists, or forcing a family member to listen to something I've written, I'm reading, gardening, or laughing with my friends. I also, occasionally, sit and stare.
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18 Responses to Peace, Love, and Goldfish

  1. Scriptor Obscura says:

    I love this story.

  2. well written piece – great details

  3. lumdog says:

    A very nice story. I love the sagging daisy and peace sign!

    • Paula J says:

      Thank you. Dialog is one of my favorite things to write. And read. I think it brings you into the story and gets you personally acquainted with the characters.

  4. jannatwrites says:

    The tattoo cracked me up, too. I love this phrase: “they didn’t consider it their responsibility to decide which way the twig should be bent.”

    • Paula J says:

      I kinda think Lena might engage in some twig bending before it’s all over with. Thanks for the comment. I always look forward to what you have to say.

  5. groovyscone says:

    An incredibly wonderous tale!

    And a beautiful peace of art as well, delightful =)

    I believe my blog may be of groovability to you, kindly check out and follow =)

    Peace and Love


  6. lexy3587 says:

    the characters you painted in this are so vivid… I especially like the phrase “The daisy and peace sign tattoo that sagged on her left thigh taunted her nightly in the bath”

  7. You have some truly lovely twists of phrase throughout this piece. Thanks for sharing it with us. Please come on back tomorrow for the new challenge.

  8. ManicDdaily says:

    A very clever story, with lots of fun word play and yet a human side too. k.

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