This writing prompt is courtesy of Promptuarium, a WordPress blog that shares writing prompts to get the creative juices flowing.
Absently, she turned the hard, cold coin over in her hand. The fountain in front of her was made of blue, black and silver marble. As the water shot out of the fish’s mouth, she pulled her arm back and threw the coin, as though pitching a baseball.
She tucked a shimmering blonde curl behind her ear and about to make a wish, her eyes met those of the fish-statue. The fish blinked. She pulled her fists up to her navy blue eyes and rubbed away the apparition. When she removed her pudgy fingers and looked again, the fish had turned towards her, opening and closing its mouth like the goldfish in her bowl at home.
She opened her mouth to scream but only air came out. Her eyes traveled to the park bench where her mother was sitting, but she wasn’t there. Too scared to take her eyes off of the fish, whose mouth was still moving, her feet remained cemented to the ground.
She heard something croak, “Ple-ease.”
She glanced from side to side but there was no one except her and the fish.
“Right he-ere.” Out of the corner of her eye, she saw the fish’s mouth moving in time to the words.
Snapping her head back, she examined the fish. He was the same tri-colored marble as the rest of the fountain aside from his eyes, which were the bright yellow-orange of a sunflower. Although the fish was still, she had the distinct impression that he was trembling, as though in pain.
“I ne-ed your he-elp.” After some internal debate, she indicated with a slight nod of her head that he should continue. “I wa-as caught by a ma-agic fisherman ma-any years ago. He enclosed me in this ma-agical fountain. I ne-ed to escape. Will you he-elp?”
“Put your hand in the wa-ater and make a wish to set me fre-e. You haven’t ma-ade your wish yet, right?”
She shook her head no and smiled to indicate she would do as he asked.
Crouching in front of the fountain, she put her right hand on the marble edge to steady herself and then leaned over and plunged her hand into the artificially clear water that held quarters, nickels and dimes. I wish to set the fish free.
“Jessica!” Her mother yelled from behind her. “It’s time to go. You can come back tomorrow and make another wish.”
“Coming!” Jessica pulled her hand out of the icy water, stood and looked up to see if the fish was gone. The shell of marble was still perched above the fountain feeding it water, but it was turned back to its original position, eyes the same marble as the rest of it.
Jessica turned around to join her mother at the edge of the park when she heard the fish breathe, “Tha-ank you,” Jessica felt a misty whoosh beside her, and then it was gone.