Starfish – Flash Fiction by K. S. Moore.
As a starfish, I am pointy, shiny and spirited, with a zest for water. The tank allows me to see out into the world without taking part. I can float and watch and wait. The only problem occurs when a handler introduces me to a child.
A child is incapable of following instructions and I regularly feel the water drain away, the air, chill my core. At such moments I wonder if I will survive. It’s not so much the physical sensations; it’s the mental ‘what ifs’.
What if I never get back underwater?
What if I suddenly lose the ability to breathe, or my heart forgets to beat?
What if this child crushes me to a pulp?
There never seems to be a positive ‘what if’. Maybe I should think of one now.
What if I start to like being held?
Perhaps I should look at it as ‘someone caring’. I must be special if someone wants to hold me. As for the chill, I should see it as proof that I’m alive, that I can feel.
There, I feel better already, although I’m not fooled. The water is my natural habitat, my cool pair of wings.
© K. S. Moore, 2015