The fish are staring at me again. It’s like they know. They just float there and stare, judging me and my inability to create content. Everyday it becomes more apparent they really are staring at ME. Not just listless in an idle state. When I pace they turn, all in unison. They follow me, lidless eyes never breaking the gaze unable to blink. Only stare. A few days ago I ordered fish fry out of spite, and intentionally ate it in front of them. Still, they only stared. I could tell they knew. I could feel tension between my plate, my mouth, the tank, and their dead eyes.
I tried to tell Ellen about it. Of course those slimy bastards carried on like normal fish in a tank while she was around. I tried explaining to her they were doing it on purpose, gaslighting me, trying to make her think I was crazy. She just looked at me, disgusted, told me I was crazy and she was sick of my shit; and walked out.
That was three weeks ago. I haven’t seen or heard from her since. I left a few voicemails for her - well ok. I left a lot of voicemails for her, but in all fairness there had been a lot of cheap bourbon involved. I just wanted her to believe it was true, the fish were watching. They continued to watch when I answered the door to have a police officer hand me a restraining order. I don’t care what the paper says, I never showed up at her house. Not that I remember anyways. It was an awful lot of bourbon.
Everyday I try to write, the deadline many days ago. I begged my editor for an extension. I may have lied. I may have said I was in the middle of a creative spurt, and the words were flowing like a floodgate released, and I just needed more time to get out all the ideas, just a little more time. The third time he asked for at least what I already had, and again I claimed I never received the message, he told me to get my shit together, and gave me a week and no more. That was five days ago. Two days to produce something, or I am in breach of contract. They own me. I will lose everything - though I guess if I am homeless, the fish have to stay.
Yesterday I was determined to do something about them. I just know that if they would stop staring I’d be able to write! I tried to throw a sheet over the tank, but it kept slipping off. I was too afraid to get close enough to properly cover the tank. I searched the house for a hammer, a bat, anything to break the tank, but my hands were shaking so bad I couldn’t keep my grip on the measly screwdriver I did find. I don’t think it would have broken the glass anyhow. Now the fish know I have it out for them.
This morning I woke up and they were all lined up in neat rows staring at me. I don’t know how so many fish got into that tank. I am sure it’s Ellen, the vindictive bitch she is. I left a screaming voicemail for her about four hours ago telling her she was not funny, and to come take the goddamn fish.
They are just staring. Judging. Plotting. I am so afraid, I don’t know what they have planned for me. As long as I keep my eyes on them, they don’t move. I'm not sure when the tank moved to the middle of the room. I’m just going to sit here, in my corner, taking my caffeine pills, and not look away. I must not fall asleep. I mustn’t. I just need to keep my eyes open for two more days. When they take me away, I’ll be safe.