She went that morning on her daily walk, picked up her one can of cat food from the corner store, sat at the small park on P st. with the ugly fenced off city storage area in the middle, and caught her breath. She was heading home when she decided to venture into the fish store. She spent a good hour and a half looking at the fish, many of which she’d recognized from watching the nature channel (always what was playing in the lobby of the Pines).
She paused when she came across the betas. All these colorful little fish each floating effortlessly in it’s own clean little bowl. Rows of bowl sat on three glass shelves. They looked to her like jewels. She picked the prettiest two, and she had excellent taste. Not going for the flashy reds and blues like most, but seeking out the subtle and unusual; one soft yellow with smoky gray fins and one deep purple, almost black really. She chose these two and had the clerk bag them up for her. She paid with exact change and took them in their little bags.
She walked only a block before stopping to sit on the curb and admire her little jewels. She poured one into the others bag and then waited. She didn’t have to wait long. Just like she’d seen on the TV. The two began to threaten one another, flaring out their gills and circling and then to fight. Fins were torn, shred. They’d part, resting. The shorter finned purple one definitely seemed to have the advantage, the yellow one cowering at the bottom of the bag. They rested for what seemed to her like an eternity. The purple one then easily finished the job. She poured him out onto the sidewalk. He flopped for a minute and then just lay there looking stuck to the ground.
As she watched him die slowly she muttered under her breath, “fucker!”