Under The Sea

“It’s the last thing you’d ever expect to find in a swimming pool,” joked the man from animal control. No one else spoke.

The Thomases stood anxiously at the poolside, staring at the shock of crimson against the pale pool water. The man deftly used a long hooked pole to drag the creature by its hair to the edge of the water. He turned it over in the water. Its cloudy blue eyes stared blankly at nothing.

“This one’s female,” said the man. “Probly been nursing.” He pointed at the lavender sea shells covering the creature’s breasts.

“Used to be, you run into these occasionally,” said the man. “Not so much anymore.” He seized the creature by the tail and dragged it from the pool, leaving behind some of its shimmery scales when they scraped off on the concrete.

“What killed it?” asked Mrs. Thomas.

“Chlorine treatment, most likely,” said the man. “Listen, you’re gonna want a pool service to come out after this. I can recommend a guy. Works cheap, but he’ll get rid of that fish smell.”

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