Life Or Something Like It

Johnson awoke to the sound of a shrieking alarm clock. He grumbled to himself and shut it off. Ah, yes, another beautiful day, another wonderful work day.

As he dragged himself out of bed, the sunlight caught his scales and made him shine like a beacon.

What? He's a fish? But of course. You may be wondering how he came to be a creature of the sea in the first place, so I shall elaborate.

It all happened one day when Johnson was headed to work and he happened behind a Chicken of the Sea truck. You know, the tuna company? Anyways, it was about 5 o'clock in the morning, and Johnson hadn't slept well the night before. He just happened to fall asleep at the wheel and when he awoke, there he was in the Jules Verne River, swimming around and making a regular home for himself beneath the waves.

His work life soon became hell. Between the lewd whispers behind his back and the way people treated him to his face, Johnson almost wished he hadn't come out of the water in the first place. However, his co-workers soon accepted him as he was, fish and all, and now he enjoys his job. For the most part.

Anyways, back to the present.

He waddled to his closet and decided on his navy blue business suit. He had to meet with Old Man Winters and didn't want to be underdressed.

After dressing and eating breakfast, he rubbed some oil into his scales and headed off to work.

"Hey, Johnson," a sultry blonde remarked as he walked in.

"Good morning, Sheila," he replied, trying to avoid her. Sheila had been after him for weeks. She had heard about his meeting with Old Man Winters, and figured he would be getting a promotion, which meant he'd be getting a raise, and he figured she was after his money. He walked into Old Man Winters' office, while two of the other secretaries gossiped about Sheila.

"Can you believe her?" Belinda, the older of the two, scoffed. "Now she's going after Johson."

"She's such a slut," Carmen, a young redhead, agreed. "She'd probably jump Old Man Winters' bones if it came to it." The two women stirred their coffee and tittered all the way back to their desks.

Meanwhile, Johnson was being interrogated by Old Man Winters.

"Where were you last week?" he demanded.

Johnson looked confused. "I was...uh...I thought I was at work."

"Were you?" Winters said, then sat back in his chair and laughed. "Of course you were. I was just testing ya."

Johnson took a deep breath, his gills flapping, then asked, "Is that all you wanted, sir?"

"What? What did I want?" Winters asked. "Why are you in here, anyway?" Johnson shook his head and waddled out of his office. This happened every week. Old Man Winters was simply getting too old for his job.

As Johnson emerged from his office, Sheila was waiting for him once again. "Ooh, you look so sexy today, Johson," she moaned. "Those scales and those pouty, fish lips!"

"Hey, watch it, girlie. Nobody calls me a fish and gets away with it."

Ah, yes, the process of denial. Fish or not, Johnson was Johnson, and his story was everyone else's. You're born, you grow old, and die. So he just happened to turn into a fish along the way. What's the big deal? He was still Johnson, a man to be admired.

"Johnson, baby, you don't want to do that to me," Sheila warned.

"Why? What are you going to do to me?" he asked, unaffected.

She pulled out a filet knife. "Fish sticks, baby," she growled.

Johnson started running, and his voice carried in the wind. "I told you - nobody calls me a fish!"

Sheila hunted him down, and the confrontation was brutal. Johnson attempted diving into the toilet in one of the rest rooms, but he could tell he wouldn't get far that way. He then waddled as fast as he could to his car and drove for the docks.

"If I jump into the river, she'll never catch me. Sheila can't swim. That's ridiculous," Johnson scoffed to himself.

What Johnson didn't know, however, was that Sheila was a national champion at swimming in high school, and she almost made the Olympics. If Johnson would've known that, he never would've tried to outrace her, and would've been more rational by reporting her to the police. Either them or Old...nah, he would've been better off going to the police.

His car skid to a halt at the pier outside the Jules Verne River. He flung his door open and dived into the river, tailfins flapping in the crisp air. He landed with a huge splash in the bay, and heard the faint screech of Sheila's car tires behind him.

"You think you can outrun me, Johnson?" she screamed. "You don't know me! I was the 4 time national champion at high school swimming, you bastard!"

"Oh, shit," Johnson muttered to himself, gliding seamlessly through the waves. He was damned if he was going to let her catch up to him.

Meanwhile, Sheila had the knife gripped between her teeth as she maneuvered her way through the water like she herself was a fish. She caught up to Johnson, and the screams could be heard from miles away.

"Nooooooo! You'll never get away with this, you gold digging tramp! Everyone will find out the real you and you'll never be rich! The truth will come out! It will!" Johnson screamed as Sheila raised her hand and brought the knife down with such a brutal force that Johnson's last breath was caught short and he died in the arms of his murderer.

Sheila bobbed in the water with Johnson's lifeless form in her arms. She looked at the blank eyes and felt a sudden remorse. "What have I done? I killed the one man I truly loved. Why, God, why?"

She then burst into tears, hugging Johnson's dead body to herself, sobbing over the loss of her potential soul mate.

A police car skidded to a halt at the edge of the pier. "Ma'am, we're going to have to ask you to come with us," one of the officers called to her.

"I did it," she sobbed. "I killed him."

The officers looked at each other strangely, as all they saw was a woman holding a dead fish. A large dead fish, but still just a dead fish. She swam to the shore, lugging Johnson behind her. The cops took her into custody, and Johnson's body was delivered to his family.

The funeral was held in the bathroom. Everyone said their final goodbyes, and Johnson was flushed into the eternal realm of happiness, where he could swim free with his true family.

That all said and done, office life continued as normal, without Sheila (she was taken to a mental institution by the police), for although Johnson was physically gone, his spirit still remained.

Well, that and his navy blue business suit.