This is SO odd. I wrote this three years ago and completely forgot about
it till I stumbled across it in the old poetry folder today. It seems to
be a short Doctor Who / Hitchiker's Guide crossover story. I really like
writing surreal sci-fi-ish stuff.
if you've ever read So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish (by douglas adams) and wondered how the fishbowl got there in the first place....
DolphinSong by Danica Nuccitelli december 1994There was a fishbowl walking along the road. It was made of a smooth, silvery material, as if an accountant-- who just happened to be a master alchemist on the side-- had stumbled on a method to mix crystal and slate together, and had taken it into his head (perhaps as a result of breathing the mercury fumes too long) to form a fishbowl out of this rare mixture. The bowl was being carried along by a man, but never mind him. Maybe the alchemist, having created this fishbowl, had shaken his head at whatever had possessed him to waste time making this strangely-shaped object-- you couldn't even eat out of it, for heaven's sake!-- and had wrapped it up and given it to a friend of his for a birthday present. The bowl rose and fell with the rhythm of the man's step. To the bowl, it seemed as if the man stood still and the trees rose and fell about them in an intricate dance. And, just possibly, the alchemist's friend could have been a scientist- but she dabbled in the art of engraving in her spare time. And if the bowl took her fancy, sometime, one lonely evening when the sun's slow departure cast the whole earth in twilight, she might hear the faint echo of words half-remembered in the back of her mind. The bowl sailed along in the man's hands, considering all the possibilities around it, deciding which paths to take. And if all the events clicked smoothly into that pattern, then there would be an equal chance that the engraver might listen to the words humming through the back of her thoughts; words singing the concepts and ideas of smooth grey bodies, resilient pewter, diving, leaping and splashing, flying through both air and water in the same bound, gliding through water with infinitely improbable ease. Buildings and machines began to dot the landscape now, pushing the ecosystem to one side to make way for progress. The images call out to the engraver's mind, appealing to her, asking her, guiding her to send one last message for them, a message of thanks; and, as if in a dream, she obeys. The gentle, curving edge of the fishbowl circles round to meet the sunlight. If the man had been looking at it, he might have seen the bowl's smooth matte surface blur in the newly harsh sunlight, might have wondered if what he was holding was the reality that was really there. The fractal patterns have been finally, uncertainly completed; the trees and leaves and spirals that mathematicians so like to draw have been finally and fully colored in; and the bowl proceeds on its way, to the last part of the first part of its journey's purpose's fulfillment. It is just one infinitesimal part of the whole, a single ball in the chain of events that will have been to be concluded. It has no clear ending, no climax, but stretches out through time in all directions-- as the man carrying the fishbowl can see clearly. He spies a dingy, small house in the near future-- or is he seeing it in the nearest part of the road? Walking towards it, the man who calls himself the Doctor opens the door, pushing it open with a small determined barrage of kicks, against the growing wall of unread mail behind it. Having wrapped the fishbowl- neatly, carefully, exquisitely- he drops it off in an unobtrusive corner next to the TV set, and leaves again, kicking the loads of mail back into place and pulling the door shut behind him. As an afterthought, he locks it-- then he is gone. Later still, in the flashing crashing anger of a thunderstorm, a man who looks as if he's struggled with the Universe-- and lost far too many times-- staggers up to the door. His name is Arthur Dent. At last, he's home.