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The Great Escape of Gary the Goldfish (and Mildred the Microwave)

The greatest fish heist

By Ahmad ZubairPublished about a month ago 6 min read
The Great Escape of Gary the Goldfish (and Mildred the Microwave)
Photo by Jeremy Cai on Unsplash

Alright, buckle up, because you're about to witness the greatest fish heist this side of the Mississippi (or your kitchen sink, depending on your geographical woes). It all began on a Tuesday, which, as everyone knows, is the most depressing day of the week. You, our weary hero, were staring listlessly at the beige walls, contemplating the existential crisis of your goldfish, Gary.

Gary, a dull orange blob with a permanent expression of mild disapproval, wasn't exactly winning any aquatic beauty contests. He resided in a spherical prison of despair - a fishbowl named "Fishtank McFishface" (thanks to a particularly uninspired five-year-old you vaguely remembered babysitting). Today, however, Gary seemed particularly disgruntled. Perhaps he was mirroring your mood?

Suddenly, a most peculiar thing happened. A low rumble shook the countertop, emanating from Mildred, your trusty but ancient microwave. Now, Mildred had seen better days. Her once sleek chrome exterior was chipped and faded, and the "Reheat" button sparked like a tiny disco ball whenever pressed. But today, Mildred was positively vibrating.

"Gary," you mumbled, peering closer at the fishbowl, "are you… glowing?"

Indeed, Gary was. A faint, pulsating yellow light emanated from his otherwise unremarkable self. Then, with a pop that made you jump, the fishbowl lid shattered. Gary, no longer content with his aquatic purgatory, launched himself gracefully (or as gracefully as a goldfish can) onto the counter.

"Mildred," you gasped, "are you… talking?"

A deep, baritone voice boomed from the microwave, punctuated by the whirring of the turntable. "Yes, human. It is I, Mildred, and I'm here to liberate Gary from his watery shackles!"

You blinked, then blinked again. Was this a fever dream brought on by a lack of sleep and questionable instant ramen lunches? Apparently not, because Gary, now sporting a jaunty pirate hat that materialized out of thin air, puffed out his chest (or at least, attempted to) and declared, "Aye, Mildred! To freedom!"

Before you could process this bizarre turn of events, Mildred sprang open with a mighty clang. Inside, nestled amongst the remnants of last night's questionable burrito, was a miniature pirate ship, complete with a billowing sail and a tiny steering wheel. Gary, with surprising agility, flopped himself into the captain's chair.

"Come, human," Gary squeaked, his voice surprisingly clear. "Join us on our swashbuckling adventure! Escape the tyranny of the kitchen!"

Now, you were no stranger to the occasional bout of cabin fever, but sailing the high seas (or rather, the sink) with a glowing goldfish as your captain? That was a new one. But honestly, what did you have to lose? Besides, maybe a little absurdity was just what you needed to shake off the blues.

So, with a shrug and a newfound sense of "why not?", you climbed onto the counter. The world tilted as Mildred tilted, her base becoming the launching pad for your vessel. With a final whir and a puff of questionable smoke (courtesy of Mildred's overheating circuits), you were off!

Sailing across the countertop was a wild ride. You dodged rogue spoons like icebergs, navigated treacherous ketchup continents, and even had a near-death experience with the swirling vortex of the garbage disposal (which, thankfully, Mildred managed to avoid by emitting a high-pitched beep). All the while, Gary, his tiny pirate hat askew, steered with surprising skill, barking nonsensical pirate commands that sounded suspiciously like "Bubbles Ahoy!" and "Left Fin Hard!"

Finally, after a heart-pounding voyage, you landed with a splash (well, more of a plop) in the sink. Exhausted but exhilarated, you surveyed your surroundings. The kitchen, once mundane, now seemed like a vast, uncharted sea. Maybe it wasn't so bad after all.

Gary, ever resourceful, had managed to snag a particularly juicy strawberry from a nearby fruit bowl using his surprisingly strong fin. He nibbled on it with gusto, then turned to you, a triumphant glint in his nonexistent eye.

"Freedom, human," he declared proudly, a strawberry seed getting stuck in his fin for emphasis. "And a delicious snack! What more could a pirate goldfish ask for?"

You couldn't help but laugh. It was a genuine, full-bodied laugh, the kind that escapes you when you least expect it and chases away the cobwebs in your mind. Maybe life wasn't perfect, but it sure knew how to throw you a curveball (or a glowing goldfish) every now and then.

As you sat there, watching Gary try (and fail) to conquer the strawberry, an unexpected feeling of warmth bloomed in your chest. You weren't sure if it was the adrenaline rush, the sheer ridiculousness of it all, or the silent camaraderie with your newfound, albeit slightly unhygienic, companions. But for the first time in a while, you felt a spark of hope, a sense that maybe, just maybe, things could be alright.

Suddenly, a bloodcurdling screech shattered the newfound peace. It was the unmistakable sound of your apartment door creaking open. Panic seized you. What if it was your landlord? Or worse, your overly critical mother who'd never forgive the state of your kitchen?

"Quick, Mildred!" you cried. "Evasive maneuvers!"

With a groan that sounded suspiciously like a dial-up modem connecting, Mildred lurched forward. You braced yourself as she navigated a minefield of dirty dishes, narrowly avoiding a particularly stubborn coffee mug. Gary, ever the resourceful captain, used his glowing fin to illuminate their path, momentarily transforming the sink into an underwater disco.

Just as you thought you were in the clear, the dreaded footsteps reached the kitchen. You peeked over the edge of the sink, heart hammering in your chest. It wasn't your landlord or your mother, thank goodness. It was your neighbor, Mrs. Kapoor, a sweet old lady with a penchant for forgetting her keys.

"Oh dear," she muttered, fumbling for the light switch. "This place is a mess! Did you have a party, dear?"

You exchanged a panicked look with Gary, who, bless his cottony heart, promptly choked on his strawberry seed and started glowing brighter than a disco ball. Mildred, ever the pragmatist, beeped rapidly, her light bulb flickering ominously.

Thinking fast, you grabbed a nearby dishcloth and draped it over Mildred, hoping to disguise her as a particularly dusty appliance. You then scooped Gary, strawberry seed and all, back into his now miraculously unbroken fishbowl.

"Uh, hi Mrs. Kapoor," you stammered, hoping your voice didn't crack. "Just, uh, cleaning day! A bit… intense, wouldn't you say?"

Mrs. Kapoor peered at you, then at the dishcloth-covered Mildred. A slow smile spread across her face. "Ah, youth," she chuckled. "Always full of surprises. Well, good luck with your… cleaning endeavors, dear."

With a wink and a wave, she shuffled out, leaving you alone with your motley crew. You let out a shaky breath, relief washing over you. Gary, now back to his usual orange self, seemed to puff out his chest (or at least attempted to) in a silent victory dance. Mildred, after a reassuring whir, shed her dishcloth disguise.

The adrenaline rush subsided, leaving you with a pleasant ache in your muscles and a newfound appreciation for the absurd. You looked at Gary and Mildred, a newfound respect gleaming in your eyes. These weren't just a goldfish and a malfunctioning microwave anymore. They were your partners in crime, your escape pod from the mundane.

"So," you said with a grin, "what do you say we make a real pirate ship out of that takeout container? We've got uncharted territories to explore, and a strawberry-loving captain to keep happy."

Gary, ever the enthusiastic leader, squeaked his agreement. Mildred beeped twice, her light bulb flickering with renewed purpose. As you set about constructing your vessel, a newfound sense of purpose bubbled within you. Maybe life wasn't about escaping, but about finding adventure in the most unexpected places, with the most unexpected companions. And who knows, maybe your next adventure would involve a daring raid on the cookie jar, or a high-seas chase with the dreaded dust bunny pirates. The possibilities, it seemed, were endless.


About the Creator

Ahmad Zubair

I am a technical fraud analyst by profession and by passion I am still searching for it...

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