"I do believe that there is no one in this tank greater than I, the great and powerful Unido. There is no one above me, fore they do not have the finnage nor power to lead this tank like I do. I am Unido. I am stong, brave, and powerful. Behold, tankmates, bow to your king!" I preach my beliefs as loudly as I can to the the fake plant and few scattered marbles in my tank. The plant, who I have named HushHush, just sparkles with his newness and waves happily to his king. His long, dark green leaves flourish with richness and health. Forever healthy, my best friend is. That is the advantage of having HushHush as your best friend. He's nice, handsome, lush, listens all day and never complains, (unlike the stupid marbles) and makes for a great hiding place when Bad Scary tries to ensnare me with his Net Of Doom. As always, HushHush seems happy for me, so I flash him a quick flare to take the wind out of his sail and remind him who's boss. I notice how well my beautiful beard is growing in. And my tail and body are starting to change colors too! I swim in a quick circle to examine my fins. Beautiful, turning a manly steel grey color, with no excess branching, deformities, or such. I am perfect, after all. Bad Scary comes and takes flashes every now and then, then gurgles it's hideous noise. I make sure to hide under HushHush when it comes, except for when it feeds me the nice live shrimp. I ALWAYS put on a good show for it then, so it makes sure to know that I am boss of everything that comes in my tank, even a measly crying shrimp. Heh. I wonder when Bad Scary is going to come again. It hasen't fed me for 3 darknesses. I haven't accutally seen it in 3 darknesses. I wonder if it died. I hope it didn't. Then I would die. And dying is NOT good.
I hear the marbles screeching and scraping their strange language, and for the 1,000,000th time I wonder what they are talking about. I wish I could speak marble. I wonder, I think to myself, I wonder if they are plotting an overthrow of rule. Perhaps they will attack me in their sleep and jump on top of me and... and.... I shake the thought from my head and take action. "I AM UNIDO!!!" I screech at the top of my lungs, go into full flare and fin extention, they charge, taking each marble out one my one, calling a ferocious battle cry. The first marble I tackle jumps back when I hit him and the others around him scatter. I flare larger than I ever have, and proceed to corner the defenceless, evil marble. I am just about to finish him off when a flash of movement catches my eye. "Later," I hiss and leave him in the cornor, when he sinks slightly and squeaks to his friends. I flash then all one last large flare and return to the safety of HushHush. The marbles lay scattered around us. They seem to be closing in. From HushHush's position in the middle of the tank, I can see all the marbles around me in the cold, small, round bowl/tank. They are no longer all pressed forcefully around the ring/cave in the bottom of the tank, instead they have foolishly ventured into the open. I vow to take care of that as soon as I check out the flash of movement I saw. Slowly, I turn, my sharp, keen eyes searching for danger or movement. I have almost completed my rotation, when I hear a marble squeak behind me. I jump around to confront him when....
Bad Scary appears. It's grotesque features are pressed up against the glass, and it is gurgleing it's strange language. I shoot as fast as I can into the deep depths of the cave/ring, by the marbles. My fins tremble and I feel a tear dripping down my cheek. This is the end. I know it is. THE END. The marbles offer no comfort, and HushHush slides around as my home, and I, are picked up and carried to the most horrible thing EVER - The Place Of Much Fear.
My fins are tight and clamped against my sides, no matter how many pellets drop down of Bad Scary's swollen sausage fingers, I refuse to move, or eat. My breathing comes rapidly and roughly, and the marbles no longer pose a threat. I lay sideways, surrounded my the reminents of the defeated enemy. HushHush sits as tall and proud as usual, unaware of the pain I am feeling. Traitor. Bad Scary appears with it's bright box and flashes the mini sun at me again. I panic, and swim, as quickly as I can to the surface. As soon as I take a breath, the only thought that races through my mind is danger. I am in the open, unprotected, in a small, cold, and too-bright tank. Something is going to snatch me up, namely Bad Scary or the mini sun. I shoot back down to HushHush and nestle my blue body into his comforting cover. Bad Scary frowns at me, then gurgles something. It drops a bit more food in. I wonder why it isn't feeding my the shrimp, like it usually does. I shiver. Perhaps this is the end of my short and pitiful life. Perhaps I will never get to experience the joys of a large, clean tank, heated and planted, of course, like my parents and siblings and pet store cup friends always told me about. I remeber one little betta vividly. He had no name, but was as red as the darkest red you will ever find. A beautiful color, no imperfections or miscoloring. He had great fins too, a model veiltail, like I. But he was a brave one. Flaring at anything and everything, he was bold and strong and unafraid. I had long chats with him at night, when all the other bettas were sleeping and there was nothing but eachother to talk to. We talked about everything. We were exact opposites. He was red and flashy and bold, a real character, while I was blue and shy, shrinking to the bottom of my cup whenever a Bad Scary picked me up. A lot of the time, we would talk about what we wanted our new lives to be like. We both wanted big, warm tanks, but he wanted lots of other fish to boss around and lots of Bad Scaries to show off too. I, however, wanted a large, heated tank, empty except for lots of hiding places. I do not like to admit that I am shy, and I'm not, just to the Bad Scaries. I am a vicious, killing machine to shrimp and marbles though.
Bad Scary has left me in the darkness, which helps calm my nerves. I dare to swim out of HushHush's branches and take a breath, slowly. Then I retreat to HushHush's comforting branches.
I survey the area around me. Just HushHush and the marbles are in my tank. I live in a round bowl, which I doubt does much to enhance Bad Scary's grotesque features. I look at the fallen pellets around me and wish for live shrimp. Yum yum, I do love shrimp. Then something catches my eye. One of the marbles, my deadly enemy, has a crack in it. I gasp and swim to its side. There are no other marbles by it, they must be afraid they too will crack in terror. It's crack makes i vulnerable, weak. And none of its 'friends' are near it. Now is the time for attack. Now. I swim to the surface and take a deep breath. Then I charge, spewing tiny bubbles behind me. I hit the broken blue thing with my nost, hard. Ouch. Even though it's wounded, the darn little thing is still pretty tough. I open up into full flare and whack Mr. Marble with my tail. He rolls and I jump to stop him, flaring and chasing him. Tiring him. I jump around him, pushing him, hitting him, taunting him and his friends while in full flare. I am so busy with the marble, that I do not realize Bad Scary has been watching me until I turn around and 'poof!' there it is, grinning with it's betta-eating teeth. I yelp and leave the exhaused marble to roll around helplessly. Bad Scary gurgles something uncomprehendable. I shiver and hide in HushHush. I feel stress stripes forming and shiver. The water seems unnaturally cold today. But then Bad Scary does the unthinkable, it graps me in my tank, and picks me up.