Buku The Complete Short Stories: The 1950s by Aldiss Brian

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The Complete Short Stories: The 1950s by Aldiss Brian

Author:Aldiss, Brian [Aldiss, Brian]

Language: eng

Format: azw3

ISBN: 9780007482092

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers

Published: 2013-09-11T16:00:00+00:00

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The Complete Short Stories: The 1950s by Aldiss Brian

As the mayor beckoned me on, I pretended I was an intrepid explorer, moving among the remains of some mighty, long-lost civilisation … but the mitty moment passed un-mittigatedly when we arrived at the door of the waiting room. The mayor pushed it open, and in we went.

Moving in slow motion, we worked our way through the murky waters, across to the square aquarium, which was perched on a window sill. The fish had fled. We saw them now, hovering unhappily about the room, those glossy tiddlers called Red Cichlids; they moved groggily sideways in square circles, like fat men traversing ice in search of infra red lamps. I saw the mayor make a gesture of despair. He was afraid we should never be able to recapture them.

It certainly was a difficult business. Using our hands, and then our flippers, we did manage to catch one or two of the little blighters, popping them back into the aquarium and using a chair seat to keep them in. I wished someone had been there to film that weird dance the mayor and I did; it just needed a lick of interstellar music, and we should have rated an ‘X’ Certificate.

 

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The Complete Short Stories: The 1950s by Aldiss Brian

Author:Aldiss, Brian [Aldiss, Brian] , Date: June 7, 2019

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Author:Aldiss, Brian [Aldiss, Brian]

Language: eng

Format: azw3

ISBN: 9780007482092

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers

Published: 2013-09-11T16:00:00+00:00
As the mayor beckoned me on, I pretended I was an intrepid explorer, moving among the remains of some mighty, long-lost civilisation … but the mitty moment passed un-mittigatedly when we arrived at the door of the waiting room. The mayor pushed it open, and in we went.

Moving in slow motion, we worked our way through the murky waters, across to the square aquarium, which was perched on a window sill. The fish had fled. We saw them now, hovering unhappily about the room, those glossy tiddlers called Red Cichlids; they moved groggily sideways in square circles, like fat men traversing ice in search of infra red lamps. I saw the mayor make a gesture of despair. He was afraid we should never be able to recapture them.

It certainly was a difficult business. Using our hands, and then our flippers, we did manage to catch one or two of the little blighters, popping them back into the aquarium and using a chair seat to keep them in. I wished someone had been there to film that weird dance the mayor and I did; it just needed a lick of interstellar music, and we should have rated an ‘X’ Certificate.

When the mayor began to go into strange contortions, I diagnosed nitrogen bends, running over to him in panic – you know how badly nitrogen bends. However, he was merely divesting – or I should say dipanting – himself of a long pair of wollen underpants. With these, he managed to capture two more Cichlids, until the water was too muddied with his gyrations for us to see anything.

Then it was I had my bright idea. It worked so much like a charm that within another fifteen minutes, we were climbing back into the launch, and handing up to Chief Engineer Culler an aquarium containing one large, complacent carp. Clutching it in a 44-year-old grasp, Culler gazed at it bemused, and asked, ‘But where are the tropical fish?’

‘Inside the carp,’ I said. ‘We let him into the waiting room because he caught the fish much more quickly and efficiently than we could. When he was gorged, he was easy to capture. Fortunately, he swallowed the fish whole, so they will be warm where they are until we can get them to some water of the correct temperature.’

By this time the rising flood had swallowed Bashenham West; a church steeple showed here, the D.K Broster novel still showed there; everything else had gone. My account would therefore have ended at this point, were it not for the strange and dramatic sequel, of which you may have read in your newspapers.

I was driving home towards the coast next morning, along that hill road from which first Bashenham West and then, later, lower down the Bash valley, Bashenham East may be surveyed. To my surprise – my intense surprise – Bashenham West lay again exposed to the sky. Of the vast sheet of water which had covered it the night before, there was no sign, beyond some deep puddles by the cattle market and a generally washed look everywhere.

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