It was a sweet idea really.
An innocent dual purchase at Petco.
- male beta
- female beta
Research was done.
An aquarium was divided to separate
the happy couple until it was time for breeding.
Romantic lighting was installed.
Bubblers merrily bubbled away.
Fragrant fish flakes sifted down regularly, plentifully.
The male glided through his northern kingdom,
displaying his finny plumage,
showing off for his plain sleek partner
in her southern chamber.
Anticipation was high that someday,
there would be a union
and hundreds of tiny offspring would be nurtured,
floating amongst the bubbles carefully blown by papa fish until they swam free.
Life was good.
In the deepest part of night,
when a vigilant owner was buried in the covers,
dreaming the dreams only high school seniors can dream, the duplicitous female made her move.
Burrowing her wet snout into the slight crevice
between the screen and the glass,
she silently slipped into her lover's lair;
the innocent but flashy male beta
that had taunted her lo these many days
with his gaudy display of finny finery.
She attacked, she slashed.
She nibbled and gnawed and gnashed her terrible teeth.
He retreated, she advanced.
He was confused.
She dogged him like an aquatic hound.
Our handsome suitor was discovered
listless amongst the fauna,
his color bleached out by fear,
his proud plumage chewed by a she-devil.
He leaves no survivors.
Still she swims.
Inhaling her fish flakes likes she has the right.
No trace of grief creasing her slimy brow.
Our own black widow of the sea
flicks her careless tail
that she is only a flush away from hell.