The Thing In The Aquarium

One day I had a party, and Jean Ogrinz and Kevin Slavin brought me goldfish in soda bottles. In retrospect, this was probably a mistake.

In other circumstances, I probably would have asked them to take the fish away again, or flushed the fish down the toilet, or some other intelligent move. The time Brian Dunn brought me a whiting, deposited it in my toilet, and then woke me up to inform me that there was a whiting in my toilet, for example, I did not bat an eyelash. ``Remove your accursed whiting from my toilet, churl,'' I commanded. After failing to get any other reaction from my sister, my mother, or my grandfather, Brian did as he was bade.

However, I had for some reason a small aquarium tank in my room the day that Kevin and Jean brought me the goldfish. So I kept the fish. I put the in the tank with water and planned to get a filter later.

I did get a filter and a pump, but the hose to connect the pump to the filter was missing.
I exchanged the pump.
There was no hose with the new pump, either.
I exchanged again.
Still no hose.
Meanwhile, the water in the tank had turned a very drab olive drab. The fish were occasional bright flashes in a murky field.

I went to each of the three fish stores in the neighborhood and scrutinized every filter they had. No hoses. Nobody knew what had happened to the hoses. They would order some, they said. Did I need a working filter soon?

No, I said, but I think my fish might.

I went looking again. Eventually, I gave up.
The water in the fish tank turned dark gray, and then black.
It started to smell interesting.
Every so often one of the fish would be floating on the top. After a day or two on top, they disappeared into the murky depths.

I began to worry about how to rid myself of the Tank from Hell. I was not about to carry it into the bathroom and dump it in the toilet. It was too heavy, and I feared greatly the possibility of spilling on the rug. I contemplated for several days.

I thought of dumping it out the window. This is illegal, but my window does not open onto the street. I battled with my conscience. I decided that God punishes those who try to empty their fish tanks out the window and that I would be sure to spill all over my rug or myself or drop the whole tank out or hit someone below.

The one fish I had been able to see on the bottom of the tank through the glass vanished one night.

I thought of siphoning it out the window with a siphon. God does not punish those who trickle a little over a period of many hours at night, and besides, it is hard to spill a siphon.

I looked for my siphoning tube.

Hah. If I had a siphoning tube in my room I would have patched it to the air pump and would not have this problem in the first place.

I began to fear the Tank. I had dark dreams.

I weighed upon my soul and my conscience. I left the window open all the time, lest the room smell too much like a swamp.

I worried and fretted.

One day I awoke to discover that the water had cleared to some extent. In the tank was an entity entirely unlike any I have seen before or since. It was about a foot tall, and just broke the surface of the water. It was roughly mushroom-shaped, with a long, thick stem that was twisted and corded like the neck of a straining laborer, and a long, steep cap with a rounded tip that poked about an inch out of the water. It was a slick greenish-brown color.

I gaped at It in primal horror for a few seconds, or minutes, I know not which. I warily retrieved an eleven-centimeter steel rod from one of the cabinets on the far side of the room and approached the squamous, Lovecraftian Thing.

I changed my mind and went back for another rod and a connector. I delicately touched the Thing on the very tippy-top of Its cap with the very end of my steel rod.

In an instant, It vanished. First there was a whirling cloud of smoke in the water, and then nothing at all.

In that moment of stark terror I was inspired. I fled to the kitchen and got a pair of triple-ply twenty-gallon drawstring garbage bags and lined out monster vacuum cleaner with them. I brought the vacuum cleaner into my room and vacuumed all the water and all the gravel out of the tank. I tied the bags carefully and left them outside with the tank in the garbage pile for collection.

That is the end of the story. Have any of you had similar experiences?

Submitted By: Anonymous

This joke is rated: PG