The Fishman

 I was sitting at my computer when I saw him…or it! He was lying under the spare cot I have for visitors. From where I sat I could only see his left arm and his left leg. His flesh was greenish-brown or brownish- green and it looked all scaly and fishy (and it had those suction cup things you see on the tentacles of larger octopuses).

Soon my apartment stank of fish, so I tried to pull him out from under the cot…I grabbed his arm and tugged, but I couldn’t move him. I tried pulling him on his leg, but my luck was no better. I didn’t know what to do, so I went back to my computer and listened to some music for a while. It calmed me down; I didn’t mind the fishy smell so much.

When I went to bed, he was still under the spare cot. Around two a.m. I woke up. Water was splashing in the bathroom. It sounded like he was taking a shower. It must’ve been a cold shower for the apartment wasn’t steamy. I went back to bed and soon I was asleep again.

When I woke up in the morning, he was back under the cot. I spent the rest of the day at the computer. Around five, I noticed he was gone. The next morning I overheard the woman who lives above me telling the building superintendent about ‘this guy or thing’ coming into her apartment and taking a shower.

About a week later, Sid and Ellen, the tenants of the apartment immediately below me told me about the creature that had invited himself into their tropical fish tank. “He just came in and made himself at home,’ Sid said. “I wish he’d make himself at home somewhere else,” added Ellen. They invited me down to have a look. Their fish tank was about eight feet long and sat in their living room. He was lying stretched out at full length in the bottom. Their tropical fish didn’t seem to mind him and swam placidly around and occasionally went down the take a nibble off him.

“Are they eating him?” I asked.

“ No. They’re eating his nits,” said Sid, laughing at my ignorance.

A few days later, the fishman left there too. I don’t know where he went, but his body had left an imprint on the wooden floor underneath my cot where he’d lain and my apartment still smells of fish.

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