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I haven’t left my apartment for days.

Even though I’m obsessed with what I’ve created, it's simply that I physically can't. My phone keeps flashing, my stubble looks untidy in the rippling, dull reflection, and the sounds of weather are becoming obscure to my deafening ears.

The brown algae has rooted through the pores of my fingers, and is clinging itself to my crusty flesh like platelets. If I were to detach my hand from it, the roots growing slowly up and underneath my arm could die and poison me. I am not hungry nor thirsty. The fungus provides me my nutrients. These roots and organisms fuel me. Little round fish occasionally try to pop out from the fungus. Some popping out through the slime from their eggs, some not. They’ll add to the millions of tiny worm-like fish already squirming around the tank in shoals. They tickle me when they squirm through the narrowing gaps of my developing, webbed hand.

This tank used to be for normal fish. Goldfish. Minnows. Zebrafish. Zebrafish were my favourite. They all died, and I never replaced them. I left the light on, with the filter switched off, in a dead, withering tank for months. A speckled, thin brown algae erupted in areas, and intensified across all four glass walls of the tank. Ready to clean it out, I saw a pulse. Intrigued, I fixed my stare.

Again, a pulse. Rare at first; occasional in the following few days.

I replaced the 24 wattage bulb with a 36. Weeks later, I submerged my hand into the freezing, stagnant water. Hundreds of tiny leeches nibbled on my flesh, not even breaching my skin. Ticklish. Hundreds of pulses eagerly pumped towards my approaching hand, caressing it on immediate contact.

My entire hand is consumed. The roots bulge out in my wrist and lower forearm. I feel thin jets of liquid shoot up through my veins and arteries. There is a cold, thin band on my arm where the transformation of blood temperature develops. The band rises every day. The scales on my hand are heating up by uncountable periods. The roots no longer pain me. My hearing is minimal; my vision is semi-thermal.

I stick my tongue into the aquarium again and drink the squirming leeches, hoping to temporarily numb the freezing pain that is wrapped around my right elbow. I flex the muscles in my fingers and pop millions of pre-birth fish in eggs. The leeches will detect them and feast upon the unborn.

These scales are beautiful and warm. I wish never to detach myself from this Pandora. My phone buzzes again, but I choose to ignore it. I will eventually be found. I must remove all worry, enjoying my last few days here with true paradise.

Written by CrashingCymbal
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