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You are walking down the street, minding your own business when a strange vehicle, driven by some kind of diminutive fish pulls up next to you. The vehicle is roughly half your size. You feel a pinprick of pain in your neck, and then, you black out.

Orca whale in bath tubYou come to, briefly, to discover that you are immobilized, held in a net, and somehow, thousands of feet above your city. It is a disorienting, emotionally distressing moment and you pass out again.

When you awake, you find yourself in a small cell, roughly the size of a large handicapped washroom. There is enough room to take a couple of paces and turn around. You are not claustrophobic, but you now understand the phobia. All the sides of your new home are enclosed in glass, beyond which you can see little. The good news is the top of your cell is open to the sky. That is also bad news, because it is raining.

One of the tiny fish creatures is sitting on top of the cell, its legs dangling over the edge. It starts to make noises, which sound a little like crickets, or perhaps clicks. You realize its coming from a miniature speaker, when you see its head is enclosed in some kind of diving helmet. It has strange prosthetic arms and legs, which you believe is called a waldo.

What is this bizarre little cyborg-fish? you think. It throws something at you. You almost missed it, it was so small, and then you realize it’s part of a cheeseburger. Not even a bite. You let it sit on the ground.

It chatters some more at you through the speakers. You ignore it. It jumps on your shoulders, straddling your neck with it’s bizarre little waldo-legs. The chattering rises in intensity, and you try to ignore it. Several hours pass, and a half-dozen pieces of cheeseburger are lobbed at you. You ignore them all, and lift the creature off your back. You place it on the wall, where the chattering rises in intensity. Eventually, the sun sets, and the thing leaves.

You try to escape, but the cell is just tall enough that you cannot pull yourself out. They are too thick to be kicked in, besides which, you think there might be nothing but water beyond them.

That night, you fall asleep curled in one corner of your new home, wondering what the hell is going on, and what this is all about.

You awake the next morning, ravenous. You also need to relieve yourself, and you realize there is no facility for this in the tiny cell, even if it is the size of a public toilet. There is no choice, really. You soil the cell.

The creature returns, and throws another piece of cheeseburger at you. This morsel you eat hungrily. As you gulp it down, you realize you’ve never felt so hungry, nor been so thirsty.

It chatters some more, pointing to your left. Perhaps it wants you to move that way? If I move that way, will it give me a drink of water. Or the whole cheeseburger? You hope so, and so you move that way. Another morsel is thrown at you.

The morning passes in this productive manner, and just when you think you’re going to die of thirst, another little fish-waldo creature — you’ve decided to call them Baldos, because of their hairless bodies — has some kind of argument with the first one. A hose appears at the top of the cell, and water trickles out. You drink from it. You had never felt so thirsty.

After this paltry drink, the chattering and cheeseburger bits return. You keep trying to comply, because let’s face it, the only way you’re going to keep up your energy enough to escape is to eat those little bits of cheeseburger.

You start to understand what hell is.

The day passes in a blur of bits of cheeseburger and chattering. The idiotic little thing jumps on your neck again, and you get that you’re supposed to jump up and down while it’s there, so you do. Another trickle of water and cheeseburger bits arrive. After the little creature and its companion leave (the Baldo with the water), you try pulling yourself up out of the cell again, but you realize it’s just not going to happen. If anything, you’re weaker than you were the day before.

cheeseburgerThat night you have trouble finding a place to lie down that isn’t covered in your own bodily wastes, or bits of cheeseburger. Nothing is free of at least a skim of water. After a good cry, you fall asleep.

Several more days ensue, in a similar pattern, and after a week, you feel that tell-tale pinprick. This time, though, you realize you’re merely tranquilized; you watch absently as a crew of the tiny creatures comes into your cell via a miniature door — a gush of water comes with it — and they clean the cell. Not really well, but they do clear out the worst of it. (You have designated one corner as “the latrine”, and you’re happy to see they concentrate their efforts there.)

The next day, you discover the cell is actually made out of some kind of transparent material, and you can see through it. Beyond it are rows of the little dudes, except none of them are wearing the arm and leg waldos. They look like miniature killer whales, or perhaps large dolphins, but it’s impossible to see what color they really are through the wall.

Your buddy, the chattering asshole in the waldo, appears at the top of the cell and gets all the fish excited about something. It motions for you to come over, and you do, hoping to get a bit of cheeseburger. You’re starving. And dying for salad. But never mind. If there’s food on offer, you’re game.

It jumps on your back and you jump up and down, and the tiny whales on the other side of the glass move their heads up and down. You wonder what that means, and think, maybe it’s applause.

And then you realize you’re on show. Some kind of terrestrial show for these marine motherfuckers. And that’s when you grab the creature on your back, rip off its waldo arms and legs (you may have got a fin in there, though it wasn’t really your intention) and its diving helmet, and drop it on the bottom of your cell. (Yes, in the “latrine”.)

The head-bobbing on the other side of the glass stops, and it looks like you’ve caused quite the sensation. The crowd splits as fast as a crowd of fish can.

When the other Baldos appear on the top of cell, you reach up and crush them. More appear at the tiny door in your cell, water gushing in, and you step on them easily as they try to get to your trainer, who is suffocating in your shit.

Another group appears at the top of the cell, but before you can grab them, there is another pinprick of pain.

And then a kind of freedom.

Alltop loves a good human show. Orca photo by Franco Felini. Cheesburger by Tom Spaulding.