|Period 36: The Fish Family|
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|Next||Period 37: The Witch of the Library Room|
After accidentally neglecting the needs of the families pet fish, Rie begins to notice strange things going on as she is overcome with guilt.
Yomi observes a large fish tank full of small, adorable fish. She asks the Readers to pay attention to them as the story involves fish.
One warm day, a young, ten year old girl complains over being unable to go on vacation like her friends. It's summer break but they don't have any plans. As Rie turns off the news report at the urging of her mother when she gets up to leave, she asks if they could go on a summer trip like her friends. She refuses, calling it silly and asks if she fed Johnny and the rest of their fish. Seeing that Rie could care-less, she scolds her daughter for neglecting their pets; whom they have had since she was little. She then prepares to leave, but reminds her to make sure she feeds the fish, then warns her that she is relying on the air conditioning too much.
Rie is annoyed by her bossiness and she thinks about how she never wanted pet fish- she wanted a dog. She turns to observe the fish and carelessly pours in food while remarking upon how easy they have it. All they do is swim around in the tank all day, and nobody cares.
Suddenly, Rie remembers that she has a project to do; however, she doesn't want to work on research, so she decides to focus on the drawing instead. She scoops a fish from her tank to observe for it, but in the process of putting it into the cup, her hand slips and it falls to the floor. Unaware of the harm to the fish this can cause, she curiously watches as it flails about and pokes it. She gets distracted when the program on television announces that her favorite anime, Saint Screaming Academy is coming on next and forgets to put it back into the tank.
Once the program ends, Rie suddenly remembers the fish and she panics upon realizing it's dead by now. Just then her mother arrives home, and in a panic she tightly clenches the fish and tosses it into the nearby trash. Her mother comes in to ask if Rie fed the fish, and initially she is too shaken to respond. She forces herself to calm down, but come dinner she is still anxious; which worsens when her mother serves grilled salmon and sees its dead eye staring back up at her. Her mother asks if she is okay and Rie quickly claims she is and tries to ignore it under the belief she probably imagined it.
That evening while everyone is in bed, the trash bin begins shifting and the "deceased" fish slips out and onto the floor. It slips all the way to Rie's room, where several other fish show up and surround her.
Suddenly, she is awoken by her frustrated mother and notices she is drenched. Her mother scolds her for sleeping with the light on, and later that morning, her mother goes on to bring up how she's lowering their house temperature too much. Rie reasons that it was too hot though, and she realizes that was probably why she had such a strange dream. She looks over to the garbage to find it's been disposed of, and her mother mentions ridding of it the prior evening before bed. She asks Rie why she's curious about that and Rie quickly claims it's nothing. She is relieved knowing what happened yesterday was only a weird dream.
But as her mother puts down a plate of food, Rie is startled to see scales on her mothers arm. She asks if she is okay, but her mother sees nothing. Her father asks if she is alright, but once again Rie sees something unusual: her father has a webbed hand. She runs to the restroom to clean her face while wondering if something is wrong with her, but after removing the towel she scales on both cheeks and arms. She panics and hurriedly rubs- but it's no use, they remain there.
She wonders if this has something to do with the poor fish she accidentally killed and runs back into the kitchen to dig through the trash; convinced that if she was to give him a proper burial they may forgive her. In her attempt at finding it, her parents call out to her and she turns, horrified to find them covered in scales with big, fish eyes. She stares at the ghastly figures and thinks about a past memory of her parents before crying, putting the blame on herself.
Tearfully, Rie approaches the fish tank and collapses, bowing her head apologetically in hopes of begging the fish for forgiveness. She asks them to change her parents back to normal, no matter what happens to her.
Suddenly, Rie is shaken and she snaps her eyes open to find her parents, worriedly standing before her. Her mother apologizes while Rie overlooks herself to see the scales are gone from her own body, and her mother explains how she should have been more open with Rie, unaware of how upset she was. She admits to being aware of what Rie did, revealing the small grave she had dug for the fish nearby as she goes on to say she had been waiting for her to say something.
Relieved, Rie begins to cry again as it dons on her that it was her own guilt causing her to imagine what she did. With her lesson learned, Rie promises to treat the fish more seriously from now on. Her parents are confused by her sudden change but they suddenly remember her father has to get to work. In his hurry, her and her mother lend him a hand- unaware of the news program on television. Due to global warming, it has been decided that everyone will be getting surgeries upon reaching the age of 10 by having gills in order to breath if overcome by water; as most of it has been submerged.
In this time, it is shown that Rie's parents have gotten the surgery already, with gills visible on their necks.
Rie is shown feeding the fish when Yomi remarks on how this might be a natural consequence for mankind. She will need to get the surgery soon- but the idea of people becoming fish isn't so weird; because some theories believe humans ancestors were beings beneath the sea. She watches drips of water fall to the floor and asks everyone to do their part to avoid such things.
- Rie Ootsuka
- Rie's friends
- Johnny & Other Fish
- Rie's Parents
- Saint Screaming Academy is most-likely a reference to the series. The girl who appears on the screen vaguely resembles Yomi.
- On the credits page is an eaten fish with Rie's pigtails.