I am an aquarium geek. I love things that live underwater: fishes, creatures, plants. On my desk I keep a male Siamese fighting fish (Betta splendens). He has his own castle, a mountain and a forest to live in.
A cared-for betta can live several years or more, long enough for me to get quite attached. I don’t always give my betta an official name. But soon, after watching the beautiful creature flit around, showing his long fins and flaring his gills at the glass, I end up calling him something. I called my last one “Fish.” Yeah, I know, not that imaginative. But when he died, the name didn’t matter. He did.
After properly grieving Fish, I got a new betta. This one is white, like an albino. His gills, when he flares them, are the color of shadows. After going through a lukewarm collection of names I had a brilliant idea of calling him Elric, after a hero in a swords-and-sorcery saga by Michael Moorcock.
Elric of Melniboné is one of my favorite heroes. I don’t write that many book reviews, but I wrote one about him. An albino from an ancient race of sorcerers, he is beautiful, his gods are evil and he is tortured as all hell. And he bears a glorious, cavalier attitude not unlike that of a Siamese fighting fish.
Every writer has a muse. The gods are watching.
© F.T. McKinstry 2013. All Rights Reserved.