What More Could I Wish For? : A Poe Pastiche Fairytale



By: Luisa Gonzalez Jacquorie

 

Hearken!  For I have a terrid true story to tell. It is of great eclat and my very own satisfaction with what I have full brought; although one might have thought that my actions were but a dream, here I am to substantiate my work’s perfection and my genius! My wife deserved her fate, now hearken.
I remember that dreadful morning, same as if it had been just yesterday; rising at the break of dawn to catch the day’s fish. The crisp sun rays glistened through the filthy windows, as if summoning me to my daily chores. As I was washing my face with hands made of lead, then stealthily slipping out silently into the cool, fresh air and lethargically hoisting the mainsail of my wooden fishing boat… little did I know what trials fate would hurl at me that day.
The bow of my ramshackle vessel sharply sped through the dark waters, the pure air cutting through my tousled hair. The sunrise beamed through the thick fog, a breathtaking sight that I no longer knew to cherish. As I glanced back at the decaying shack I shared with my wife, I reeled out my fishing rod and the hook sank to the bottom instantly. Out of precaution - not wanting to spoil my only rod - I was quick to let it resurface, only to find a flounder grappling for its insignificant life.
“Hearken! - Fisherman. Let me live! For I am not just a fish, but an enchanted prince. What would you benefit from taking my life? Please - ” Its piercing cries were interrupted by my booming voice.
“No need to say more. What a wonder it is to encounter a speaking flounder!  I can certainly let a speaking fish swim. What wonder!”
As time passed and the day progressed, my rod remained still in the waters and no fish hooked on to my bait. By noon the sun had reached its peak, and it was time to return home. I entered through the crooked door, pearls of sweat racing down my scalp from the burning heat, to find my old lady.
“Did you catch anything today?”she sharply inquired.
“Not today, my love. I caught an enchanted flounder, but I set it free.”
“Did you ask for anything first, at least?” Her arrogant ways of provoking me prevailed, even on this calm day.
“Why no - what should I have asked for? ” I replied mockingly, as her lively expression quickly morphed into an ice-cold stare.
“We live in an old shack! It reeks and it is filthy. It disgusts me! Go back to the lake and tell the prince that you want a cottage… no, a mansion… a castle!  Don’t even bother coming back if you don’t prevail!”
My face mirrored hers as she ended her prose. What audacity that greedy woman had! - I was and still am the man of the house. Who does she think she is? That is no way to speak to her husband; her demeanor is unacceptable! With every step closer to the door, closer to the vessel, closer to the lake, the ardent inferno of my rage burned hotter, brighter, more dangerously, threatening to unleash my temper and ignite everything in sight.
My mind traveled to places where I had never been, the deep pits of hell; I only dreamed of terminating her! - what rage, what fire made my eyes gleam with madness. And so I sought out the flounder, but instead of wishing for my wife’s voluptuous dreams, I escaped blindly into my hot temper, using my words to drain the life out of her.
“I wish that she were dead!  Her blood staining our creaking floorboards, her lifeless corpse cold as her evil heart! I have put up with her long enough with her constant browbeating. She deserves it, I want the deed done! I want her to endure a terrid, painful death!”
“Go home,” the flounder spoke calmly. “She already has.”
Contented with myself, the journey home was much more pleasant than the journey to where I had encountered the flounder. As I promenaded through the door, the blood did not vex me, as I found the messy deed done. I had done her a favor - she had been spared her unimportant life - and not a drop of sorrow was to be found in my blood. I was so satisfied… when I thought I heard her murmur. No, her lifeless corpse couldn’t have spoken a single word. Yet I heard it - louder and louder and louder!  She was speaking to me, I could have sworn.
“Wake up! - Wake up, you lunatic,” A voice echoed, as I blinked once, then twice. I sat up from my slumber and screamed, as breakfast was served at the insane asylum.

 

 

Luisa is a 14-year-old from Georgia.