Cosei Kawa – Roland Acsai: The Fish God

Beyond the Seas, International Fairytale Project in Hungary
El Proyecto Internacional de Cuentos Allende Los Mares, Hungría

Translated by Luca Szabó

A fish is coming through the air. It is floating quickly, wagging its tail fin. When it gets above them, they can see that it is half-human and half-fish. They can see its two legs behind its fins, and instead of breast fins, it has two skinny arms. From beneath the mouth of the fish, a child’s face is looking at them, an innocent, pure, expressionless and timeless face. The fish swims to them, and stands right next to them on the ground. The two skinny legs can hardly hold the huge, silver body. The creature can’t usually need them in such conditions. The boy and the girl are looking at the fish child suspiciously, even though they can see it is not carnivorous.
“Who are you?” the boy asks.
“I am the god of fish,” it answers in a tiny voice. “What are you doing here, so far from home?”
“We are looking for Yin and Yang, my pollywogs,” the girl says.
“You are quite near them, so near that you might have found them. Look!” the Fish God points at the sky, and out of nowhere, two plates of a scale descend on long chains. “Step on the plates.”
The boy and the girl obey. The scale tilts, then the two plates stop at the same height.

Ilustración hecha por el artista japonés, Cosei Kawa

Ilustración hecha por el artista japonés, Cosei Kawa


“See? The balance,” the Fish God tells them.
“How can this be?” the boy wonders. “I am heavier than my companion.”
“This scale only measures the weight of your hearts.”

A dark spot floats through the air. It is coming towards them quickly.
“The fishermen!” the Fish God turns in alarm.
A moment later, a net falls from the flying boat. It is so big that it darkens the sky. The huge weights that frame it plough a burrow. Where the net goes, it demolishes everything. Noone and nothing can escape it. Centuries old coral shoals disappear with a crackling, and so do the houses built on them, and those who live in those houses end up in the net, as well. Red, yellow and blue fish try to avoid it, but it is faster than them.
“Trawling,” the Fish God announces. “It only leaves desert. Run!” But it is too late, the net takes them captive. Only the Fish God escapes. The fishermen pull up the net, as if they had wanted to kidnap them. The girl tries to cut her way out of it with the blades braided in her hair, but the net is stronger.
When they are poured on board together with the fish and other creatures, the Fish God crashes into the boat just like some heavenly wind, a human torpedo.
“Run, you are the balance! You are the gleam. People will be richer and happier when they see you,” he shouts before his suicidal act. Those are his last words.
The boat shakes, and it starts falling towards the ground, smoke coming out of it. The boy and the girl jump. But instead of falling they float in the air, and then very slowly, they sink to the ground, as if they were sinking in water.
The Fish God paints the air red, as if it was twilight.

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