Something’s Fishy (2-15-2018)

[WP] You’re a detective on the trail of a serial killer. You’ve finally found a living witness but unfortunately, even talking goldfish still have terrible memories. [Link to Post.]

“I saw the whole thing,” Blingy the goldfish swam in place in his bowl while Officer Grant eyed the corpse. The quaint fishbowl sat on the victim’s desk, where the body was found hunched over. Several gunshots in the body gave clues about the cause of death. “But, I need protection if you want me to talk.”

“No deal, goldie.” Officer Grant looked behind him to make sure he was alone in the room, lest someone see him talking to a goldfish. It had been over a decade since his mind saw things that were not real. He’d been diligent about taking all his meds, and policing his own thoughts. Long ago he decided the best way to deal with hallucinations was to just play along until he could get somewhere alone to think. “Even if you did see the killer, you’re useless to me. Thanks to the refraction of your bowl there’s no way you can ID the killer, and aside from that,…” Officer Grant shook his head with a chuckle. “Goldfish have terrible memories.” The older man combed his graying beard with his hand and sat in the black leather chair in front of the dead man’s desk to give his mind a break. The CSI team would be there before long. Blingy swam from side to side as if mimicking a head shake.

“Wrong on all three counts, Copper.” If goldfish were capable of smiling, Marcus Grant would have believed the goldfish in the bowl was mocking him.

“Three?” Marcus shrugged in the chair with an amused smile. Unlike previous hallucinations, this one proved to be entertaining not horror-filled. 

“First, my name is Blingy, not Goldie. That’d be like me calling you Blackie. Second, I don’t have to describe him. The killer was one of Brad’s close friends. He visited often enough, I know exactly who he is and where you can find him. Third, the memory thing is just a myth.”  Blingy swam a smug lap around the small bowl, swimming through his plastic castle and around the plastic palm trees. 

“Well you just told me it was a close male friend of his, should be easy enough to narrow down.”  Marcus smiled broadly and chuckled. Somehow the feeling of outsmarting a likely imaginary, but smug talking goldfish was both silly and satisfying. Blingy leaped in his bowl, doing a spin in the air before he hit the water again. 

“Brad was one of the richest guys in the world. The list of people that consider themselves close friends…” Blingy’s eyes rolled backward, and somehow he managed to use his fins to make air water quotes. “…is at least a mile long, and that’s just the men. I can name him tonight.”  Marcus  shrugged. He’d been wanting a pet anyway. If this fish was telling the truth, and actually talking, he’d have the case wrapped up in nice bow by morning. If not, at least he wouldn’t be as lonely anymore. 

“Alright Blingy, deal. You finger the guy, and I’ll give you a nice spot on my desk facing out a window.” Marcus dipped his finger in the water to shake hands, and Blingy brushed his fin by it. 

“Get me home, and I’ll sing like a bird,” Blingy said. Marcus nodded and grabbed the bowl. He made his way out of the mansion and into his car. He placed Blingy’s bowl on the front seat, buckled and with a jacket around the base to help keep it steady. The 20 minute drive home left Marcus doubting himself. Blingy did not say a word, and he hesitated to start a conversation himself. It felt silly, and he wanted to avoid the trap of believing. It was one thing to play along while it was happening, but if he sought out the unusual he knew it meant the end of his career and mental health.

The sun set even before Marcus visited the crime scene. The best he could do was place Blingy on his desk facing a single street lamp. 

“Hey! Nice place!” Blingy said while swimming around his bowl admiring Marcus’ home office. “Thanks!” Marcus smiled. He still might be sane!

“Alright, now for your part of the deal.” Marcus pulled his phone out, ready to dial. “Who killed Brad?” Blingy stared out the window for a bit, then swam around the bowl a couple of times before stopping to face Officer Grant. 

“Who’s Brad?” Blingy blinked. Marcus laughed the laugh of a man realizing he might be insane. 

“So goldfish do have bad memories, I guess.” Marcus shrugged and leaned back in his chair. 

“That’s a myth!” Blingy yelled, and he did a jump in his bowl for added effect. “Goldfish have great memories! In general anyway.  But to be honest, my memory isn’t great. It’s just a coincidence though, don’t think all goldfish are as forgetful as I am.” Blingy swam around his bowl, then said goodnight to Marcus. The officer was already two shots into a bottle of whisky. 

Blingy swam into his castle and sighed peacefully. He hoped Officer Grant would be a good owner, and not an asshole like Brad was. Orchestrating a murder wasn’t easy for a fish, and he’d hate to have to go through all those hoops again. 

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