Archive for the 'flash story' Category


The golden fish

One day I caught the golden fish.

‘What wish can I grant you?’ he asked me.
‘I wish I could have at least one wish,’ I answered, ‘I’m out of wishes…’
‘I can only grant wishes, not produce wishes,’ he told me, compassionately. ‘Do you want to be loved, do you want to be rich, do you want to have friends? Think.’
‘I want one wish, little fishy, one wish that I can never fulfill. One wish that I can never grow tired of… one that I can’t lose, like all the others…’
The fish’s eyes were moist, but all fishes’ eyes are probably moist. How can you tell what lies in the gaze of a fish?

‘Get me a drop of future,’ I asked of him…
‘Future? Future? Make a wish that that can be granted later,’ he told me. ‘Do you want to be loved, do you want to have friends, do you want to be rich?’
‘I’ve lost love, friends have betrayed me, riches have scattered… but all these don’t really matter. Betrayals and friendships have drained my desire. I only need a drop of desire, a grain of exaltation, a reverie, no matter how small… If not a real wish, at least give me an illusion, fishy, and I will be grateful.
He was looking at me puzzled, I think, with his fish eyes.
‘I feel sorry for you, you’ve caught me in vain. Let me go or eat me… I can’t offer illusions either. I grant wishes, that’s it.’
‘Then help me live in the past, as if my loves haven’t extinguished, as if my friends haven’t betrayed me, as my riches haven’t scattered.’
‘I only grant wishes in the present… I feel sorry for you.’
‘Then make me forget,’ I asked him. ‘Make me forget what it’s like to have desires.’
‘You’re very picky,’ he answered. ‘A strange species.’
‘Stranger than a golden fish who grants wishes?’
‘Why don’t you wish to not have any wishes? It’s wiser.’
‘But I don’t want to be wise. I want to believe in love and in friends and in the richness of the heart… I want to believe. Look, I want to believe in everything I’ve ever believed in, to believe like an idiot…’
‘Then believe!’
‘If only if it were that easy! I want to at least believe in loneliness and the eclipse of the future, can I?’
‘Who’s keeping you from believing?’
‘Who’s keeping you from flying?’
‘Well, I’m a fish… Fish don’t fly.’
‘People don’t have wishes after their hearts have dried up, after their friends have betrayed them, after their loves have extinguished. Desire is a kind of flying. And people fly for a while, then crash inside themselves.’
‘I didn’t know that… that people can fly,’ the fish said, perplexed. ‘What is really the problem? You want to fly and you don’t dare to ask for it, is that what you want?’
‘Sort of,’ I answered… ‘But not too high, because I get altitude sickness.’
‘Then, thy will be done,’ he said and disappeared.

I immediately felt my back heavy with the burden of wings. What am I supposed to do now, with two wings and no desire? It’s not for nothing that they say fish are thick-brained.


The journey

the town


The day was long and expected to be warm and bright although at dusk the fog was quite thick.
The road was large and the places absolutely stunning.
Everything that he came to see reverberated in his chest like an echo
“It will be a sunny journey”, he told himself.
“Sunny” replied the echo, like the refrain of a joyful song.
But the fog didn’t clear away. On the contrary, it became thicker and thicker.
“So what? It’s so beautiful here”, he thought, fascinated by the road and by the faces of other pilgrims.
“Here!” retorted the echo, on a small voice.
Here and there or at a crossroad he took another direction than the others.
At noon his path became narrower and the storm was about to burst.
“Maybe I will be spared by thunders and lightning!”
“Lightning” replied the echo, sounding somehow frightening.
“Maybe I should have followed the others”…
“The others” retorted the echo with disappointment.
The whirlwind calmed down, but the sky remained covered. However he felt less exposed.
“I’m safe now!” he thought.
“Safe” answered the echo with sadness.
The sunsets with gray sky are less disturbing, he meditated.
“In a short while it will be dark anyway”.
“Dark anyway” said the echo making him startle.
The long day suddenly seemed short.
He was the only one who reached the top of the mountain.
He was supposed to be happy. Or proud. Or fulfilled.
The other ones had got lost, most probably.
“Only I managed to get here, only I alone!”
“Alone!” replied the echo, sardonically.

copyright Ilinca Bernea


"For moral reasons ... the world appears to me to be put together in such a painful way that I prefer to believe that it was not created ... intentionally."
- Stanisław Lem

"The most henious and the must cruel crimes of which history has record have been committed under the cover of religion or equally noble motives".
- Mohandas K Gandhi, Young India, July 7, 1950

“Organized Christianity has probably done
more to retard the ideals that were it’s founders
than any other agency in the World.”
– Richard Le Gallienne

"I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires." - Susan B. Anthony

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