The Fish by Joanne Stubbs

The Fish

Joanne Stubbs

Tenderness and beauty turn to division and turmoil as environmental, world-wide crises wreak havoc for three diverse characters. This cautionary tale on climate has elements of the fantastical but its authenticity is undeniable. This is a unsettling reflection on humanity’s denial of the damage being caused to our planet


Today I avoid the window- I’ve procrastinated enough on sea stars- and instead focus on tidying my workshop. Stray material has gathered on every surface; the floor is scattered with patterns; white threads of cotton blossom across the arms and back of my chair. I pick at them, consider getting the vacuum cleaner. Why are there starfish on the kitchen window? Ephie as good as said that there must be something wrong in the ocean.

Yesterday I watched a cat paddling along the wall that separates us from the sea. It stopped to pause at every orange star, to sniff anxiously and hiss. Not to lick or touch. Watching it, I felt the hairs go up on the back of my neck. The cat knows something we don’t. I wanted to invite it in, to ask it: Why are you scared of them? Cats are only semi-domesticated. They have plenty of wild instinct left in them.

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