In a panic, Elick turned on his television and looked out the window. He tried to appear inconspicuous and straighten the window’s blinds. When the door clicked open, he grew more nervous and fumbled his hands around until he was tangled between the slats. Every click his mother’s heel made against the floor caused his heart to pound a little harder. A cool chill washed over his back; he could feel his mother standing behind him.
“What are you doing, son?” his mother asked.
He turned around trembling and felt sick to his stomach. He hoped she couldn’t see the fear on his face. He couldn’t bring himself to speak.
“Was that the television I heard? Who was that?”
Elick pulled away from the window and felt a tug at his shirt. His shirt snagged the blinds, and he yanked all the drapery from the window. His mother gasped, and he flopped on the floor like a floundering fish.
“What is wrong with you, Elick?”
He leaped off the floor and smiled. “I—I’m okay.” He tried to look around without appearing suspicious. “I just got tangled up.” He hoped she hadn’t noticed anything odd.
His mother narrowed her eyes and circled him like an angry wolf. “Are you sure?” She leaned in close to his face. The cool streetlight trickled in from the exposed window and across their face. “You’re looking awfully suspicious. What have you been up to?” She turned away.
“I—I don’t know what you mean. I’m okay, just a little disappointed.” He could hardly breathe under scrutinizing presence.
“Why are you disappointed?” She moved over to his computer to turn a light on.
He felt lightheaded because he knew she could tell something was amiss. “I—uh, school. I got rejected again.” If he slipped up in any way, he knew she’d berate him until he starts crying or they start arguing. He didn’t feel like arguing tonight, there was too much to worry about already.
His mother slipped and there was a loud thud. “Ouch! What is this?” She tripped over a pile of laundry and fell on the floor. “How many times have I told you, put your sheets and clothes in the hamper!” She pulled herself up before he could help and scrunched her face up in anger. “Hey, why are the sheets off your bed? We just washed these yesterday!” She sat on the bed and looked around. Her voice grew lower and grislier with suspicion. “Is there something going on here?”
“Wh-what do you mean?” Elick gave a nervous laugh. He hoped she wouldn’t notice the thing under the sheets. He slowly edged closer to the pile of laundry next to his bed.
Her eyes lit up with excitement and a goofy smile crept across her face. “I know what it is!” She jumped up, dusted herself off, and acted oblivious. “I’m so sorry, son. I had no idea you had someone over.”
Elick jolted. “What?!” His trembled violently. “I—I do not!” He looked over at his bed and hoped he could come up with an excuse.
“Well, what is it then?” His mother looked smug. “It’s okay, you don’t have to explain it.” She giggled and trotted towards the door.
“No! I—I spilt food on my bed.” He showed her a plate he forgot to return to the kitchen. “What do you expect? I’m messy.” His lips quivered with every word. “I planned to clean it up and wash the sheets, but I fell asleep.” He took a deep breath and shuffled in front of the laundry pile.
“Uh huh.” His mother narrowed her eyes and her happy expression died. She sighed and folded her arms. “How many times have I told you not to eat in here?” She pointed at the laundry. “You’d better get it cleaned up, tonight. We won’t have water tomorrow.”
A groan came from the laundry and Elick snatched his remote up. “Silly noise.” He smacked the remote and hurried behind her. He was trying to rush her out of the room. “Wh-why can’t we wash tomorrow?” He felt like anything she had to say could be earth shattering. He was determined to get her out of the room before she learned his secret.
“They’ll be turning the water off in the morning for maintenance in the area. We won’t have it until later that evening.”
Elick slumped against the door and sighed. “Oh, well that’s no problem. I can wash them tonight. Don’t worry.”
“You had better get my sheets clean. I don’t want them to stain.” She narrowed her eyes and glared back at him with a serious gaze. Her face was scrunched in anger and without saying words, it expressed how he better get it done tonight. She soon walked away, and he felt relieved.
In a rush, Elick closed his door and locked it. He scrambled over to the laundry and yanked the sheets off the strange man. “What are you doing?” He kneeled over, trying to keep his voice to a whisper. “Wh-who are you? What are you doing in my house?!” The man was the most beautiful person Elick had ever seen and made him feel inadequate as a person. It made him nervous with the strange man cast his crimson eyes upon his face.
“E-Elick—it’s me. Mr. Fishy,” said the man.
Elick’s heart sank, he was in disbelief and felt confused. “What?!” He shook his head. “You’re no fish!”
The man nodded. “I’m Mr. Fishy.”
Elick yanked the rest of the laundry away. “Who are you? This is no joke!”
The man rubbed his hand through the slivers of his long hair. He rubbed his hands across his face and down his strong thick chest. He was still damp with water. “Wh-what’s going on? Am I not a fish?”
“That’s what I’d like to know.” Elick stomped. “Who are you?”
The man spread his legs and exposed his thick member. Elick staggered backwards as if he had been splashed in the face. “Ah! My eyes!” “What are you doing?!”
“Elick?! What’s going on?” his mother said.
Elick could hear her coming from down the hall. “I’m alright, don’t worry! Just getting my things together.”
“Alright…if you say so.”
Elick fell to his knees and looked at the man angrily. He tried to keep his voice to a whisper and still appear serious. “You’ve got to get out of here. I don’t know who you are.” He could feel his world unraveling around him. He couldn’t handle this kind of stress.
The man rubbed down his abs, he was in awe of his figure. “I—I don’t remember this.” He brushed his hand across the silver patch of hair along his member and rubbed it. “Wh-what is this thing?” He looked up at Elick with wide eyes and a dumbfounded expression.
Elick blushed and tried to look away. “W-what are you doing?” He tried to put his hands in front of his face and hide the man. “Wh-what do you mean you don’t know what it is?”
The man grabbed Elick by the hand and pulled him in close. He pressed the boy against his warm damp chest. Elick squirmed beneath the man’s embrace, he could hear their heartbeat pounding in his ears. He had never been this close to someone, especially someone naked. He felt a heat rising inside of him, it almost made him sick. “I—I have to get away.”
“But why?” The man tightened his grip. “I—I don’t know what’s going on. Wh-who am I? What am I?”
Elick scoffed and pulled away. He was furious. “What do you mean you don’t know what you are?”
The man nodded.
“You’re a man, just like me. Clearly, you’re more a man than me.” Elick reluctantly pointed at the man’s member.
The man looked himself over. “I’m a man—like you?” He looked down at himself and then back at Elick.
“Yes, that’s what I said.”
Then, the man placed his hand along Elick’s crotch and squeezed it. “Are we the same?” the man asked.
Elick fell back. “What is wrong with you?!” He kicked and swung his arms around. “Don’t do that!” He straightened himself up and fixed his clothes. He had never been touched like that before and was embarrassed. “You—you can’t do that!”
“I—I…” Elick trembled. His mind was overwhelmed with all kinds of thoughts. He was finally close to man but the fear of his parents finding out was too strong. The man stared back at Elick with a dumbfounded gaze as his lips and eyes glistened in the light. Elick’s face felt hot, and he could feel a sensation rising in his pants. “N-no. This can’t be.”
“I’m Mr. Fishy, though.”
“W-why do you say that?” Elick couldn’t control himself, he was moving closer.
“I—I wanted to be with you. I wanted to help make you smile.”
“Th-that can’t be true. I never let anyone inside the house. I don’t know you.”
“But I’m Mr. Fishy.”
Elick flopped beside the man and aimed to touch his chest when suddenly the man winced in pain. He flinched and curled up. He broke out in a severe sweat. “I—I remember.”
Elick snapped out of his daze and reared back. “What did you remember?” he asked.
“My name—it’s Mallard.”