This Fishbowl - story snippet

The door closed behind him and the noises from outside abruptly ceased.

He wiped his hand down his face, flicking off the water that collected near his chin. He shook his head, spraying the nearby objects, like a dog under a hose.

He stood still in the gloom.

Soft blats of dripping water at his feet were the only sound. He looked down to his size 11s and saw he was standing on tiles.

They were blue.


He looked up and to his right. No. The light from the fish-tank was blue. Only rich people kept fish.

What is this place?

His ears grew accustomed to the silence and found it wasn't complete. The soft humming of a cooling unit came from the kitchen, straight ahead.

Two more steps took him through the door. Two more, past the immaculate kitchen bench and he ran his fingertips along it, feeling it, the first clean thing he'd felt in months. There was an oven off to the side. Numerals gleamed red.


There was another fish tank in here, more blue light. It was oddly calming, oddly sterile, like he'd stepped into an autoclave and could miraculously come out clean.

Everything seemed tidy at first glance. As he looked closer, he started to see personality in the order. A squashed teabag on the sink; a line of crumbs where a cutting board had been; a glass in the dish rack, lipstick on its rim. He couldn't tell what colour the lipstick was in the blue light. It just looked dark. He looked at his hands.

He couldn’t see the veins on top.