One day, the red-hot core of Mars spewed a little lava that cooled and solidified and was hit by a meteorite. Water filled the cracks and then an angelfish darted about, looking twice its size in its own reflection, until another meteorite catapulted the rock and the angelfish into deep space.

“Character building,” thought the angelfish as it sailed through weightless eternity.

Five hundred million miles and several orbits of Earth later, NASA’s Dr. Finzi Battenberg was searching the Orinoco basin after meteorite ALH10878 had been found to contain a tiny fish tank, a sofa and a satellite TV. There was even a half-completed Sudoku on the coffee table.

The doctor kneeled, attracted by reflections on overhanging tree branches. He’d seen many angelfish staring out of empty fish tanks in out-of-town pet superstores, and he felt sorry for the angelfish. He picked it up and lowered it into the Orinoco.

“Go swim,” he said.

It was just what the little fish needed.


# # #

The Angelfish by Ian D. Smith
originally published in the Summer 2012 print edition



Ian D. Smith is a writer living in England.

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visit his Big Pulp author page


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Big Pulp Summer 2012:
The Purloined Pearl

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