A Short Story: Nishikigoi

Taking a focus on using a more absurdist style of plot and experimenting with third-person omniscient narratives.

Lamar wasn’t stuck. Not entirely. He wouldn’t allow himself to think that he was anyways. Just ‘taking a rest’ he’d mumble to himself with stark annoyance that the night had come, and he could no longer continue with his journey. Atleast his boat, his prized (and only) possession had come out from the bad weather unscathed, even if the paintwork was a tad battered.

Lying back on the little space of deck that he had, the pit of the night held so much for Lamar in terms of his thoughts. Even after a single conversation with the youth, anybody with half a brain cell could see that Lamar was a dreamer, destined to escape from the bludgeons of modern society. He desired to do just that and that’s how he ended up with Tabitha. Tabitha was his boat and perhaps his only friend now he’d finally fled the nest and everything he knew to go in search of a better life. Most occupants in his home town had been receiving their pension and they knew no better of where Lamar might end up, but on this dark, lonely night, Lamar wasn’t entirely certain of where he might end up either.

Deep in the depths of incessant melancholic thought, wishing he’d had a companion with him for once to make the nights go by a little faster and maybe feel a little warmer, Lamar continued to stargaze. He had nothing better to do as he scanned his eyes across the shimmering sky trying to identify each of the constellations he’d spent so much time teaching himself about before coming out here on his own.

“The Fishes!” he exclaimed to himself, rather loudly for the dead of night.

He sat up, worried he might’ve alerted someone who could’ve been residing nearby, waiting to pounce and rob him of everything he knew. Lamar was just being negative, however, in the middle of nowhere he knew he was safe, but he’d still worry.

He tilted his head back and found the constellation again and stared in awe for a while, then moving between the Water Bearer and the Ram as soon as he’d been capable of identifying them. Lamar always settled upon staring up at The Fishes though, until his neck began to hurt. He didn’t want to lie back again and settle, as much as the stars were beautiful, Lamar wasn’t ready to sleep just yet.

Picking up his flashlight, he plunged the blinding white light onto the water expecting to find something floating that could stimulate his brain a little while longer but to no avail. Finding himself thinking of what the depths of the murky waters could hold beyond the light he held to it, Lamar was deep in a dream-like state of thought once again. Initially thinking of the litter – the crisp packets and used condoms – his mind aimlessly wandered to soon think about what had also been on his mind when staring up at the sky. All the fishes. The trout. The bass. Maybe even some sturgeons. Lamar suddenly didn’t feel so alone anymore knowing that all these scaly creatures probably lay beneath him, floating along just as he did.

As the night got even more black than it already was, Lamar couldn’t help but find himself drifting in and out of his sleep as he sat back on the deck again with his blanket tightly wrapped around him, his father’s old fleece hugging his skin. He’d still been thinking of the fishes as he ultimately fell asleep for the final time, wondering that if he was to sail around under the water so plainly, which fish would he rather be?

It was exactly as he’d passed into the remoteness of deep, satisfying sleep that he’d had his lightbulb moment.

“Koi.” he uttered to himself almost silently.

They were plain-sailing, symbols of luck. Just as Lamar wished he could be.


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