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The Goldfish
by Kristina England

Claire woke to Bubbles floating belly up in its bowl. She got down on her knees and tapped the glass, but saw no movement. 

She picked up the bowl and carefully walked down the hall to her parents room, placing it on the nightstand. She leaned in and listened to her mother's breath move in and out of her lungs.

"Mum," she whispered. "Mum. Mum."

Claire tapped her mother's shoulder. Jacqui made a grunt and turned over.

"What is it?"

"Bubbles died."

Jacqui's eyes opened. She looked at her daughter for a good minute, sleep fading from her face. "Sweetie, I'm sorry."



"Is this what grandpa will look like when he goes?"

Jacqui smiled softly and ran a hand through her daughter's hair.

"Well, sort of, although he'll die in a bed, not a bowl."

"But dad says one in five people die in the toilet."

Jacqui laughed. "On the toilet, not in it. But now that you mentioned it, maybe. Although he's way to big to flush down a toilet."

Claire rolled her eyes. "Of course! We'll bury him in the backyard."


"No, Bubbles, silly. Although, I suppose Grandpa can fit back there, too."