Unlucky to be Lucky

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Piranhas

9. Piranhas

“Who is responsible for this man?” An irritated voice of a female zoo staff member could be heard.

“Cashew! Please convince her to let me stay with the lions longer!!” Right next to the staff member, Monsuta was fake-sobbing and being pathetically dragged out of the lion exhibit like a sad sack of potatoes. Swallowing down his unease, Cashew forced himself to get up and walked over to the tantrum zone and apologetically took Monsuta out of the hands of the zookeeper.

“I’m so sorry that you had to deal with this, still alive, man. We won’t cause any further problems...”

The woman simply looked over the two men and gave a curt nod before disappearing back into the lion exhibit. Now alone, Monsuta got up with a pout on his face and brushed himself off.

“I can’t believe she took me away from my friends back there, how dare she? I was even beginning to drowse off.”

“Are you alright? How did you tame that lion? And didn’t you mention something about how all animals hated you? What’s this sudden friendship all about??”

“Oh my, so many question,” Monsuta’s smile twisted unpleasantly up as he approached uncomfortably close to Cashew, “but Cashew, please tell me, did you... push me into that pit?”

Goosebumps overcame Cashew’s body as he looked into the dangerous of the man before him.

“I must have accidentally bumped into you when a kid screamed and I had a sudden freak out from looking at that monstrous lion!”

Monsuta closed his eyes and his face grew rigid. Cashew was convinced that this was the moment his existence would end, the moment Monsuta’s murderous intent would erupt and everything would be over. But the blonde only opened his eyes with a new smile upon his face and whole heartedly laughed until he could barely stand.

“Life is so interesting with you! Well then, we might as well start walking towards the next exhibit while I answer your questions... Yes, as far as I knew, all animals hated me because people of my family bloodline give out a very unnerving aura. Of course, it goes without saying that this destines me to a life of loneliness, as I get constant looks of unease and fear, but that’s only the more reason why I am happy to have you and the cats next to me. You see, this... “disease” affects animals and babies more than grown humans as they can sense those things much more, in fact it highly distresses them, but nevertheless people feel uncomfortable around me anyway. You yourself must have felt how the hairs on your body stood up suddenly whenever I approached you, correct?”

It was true, Cashew realised. He had always unconsciously felt some alertness and a hint of danger whenever he was close to Monsuta, yet his thirst for revenge had pushed away his instincts of running away, and now he was used to being around the man, so this unease had become a secondary feeling to him.

“Now, as for the lion, it seems his enormous amount of power and authority over his territory was large enough to tolerate me. I’m still not entirely sure, since I had never met a predator as great as that before, but after he accepted me as an equal and with possible admiration, his lionesses went along with it and we ended up together in the sunshine!” Monsuta’s white eyes (that once again showed signs of black pigment within them) glinted with a pure happiness that Cashew had not seen in a while. No longer willing to figure out what sort of nonsense had just occurred, he decided to just accept the situation and instead Cashew looked around to see what they were going to see next.

A magnificent, blue building was beginning to rise in the distance, with large letters that spelt out “SEA WORLD”, plastered above the entrance. (What on earth is that? Are we really going into a building to see some fish? Like a weekend market selling goods from the coast?). A laugh from beside Cashew brought him out of his trance, looking over to see Monsuta giggling beside him.

“What?”

“I can see the look of disappointment on your face and to be honest, it’s hilarious!” Dodging a punch from Cashew, Monsuta just laughed even harder.

“Hey, don’t be like that! I assure you that the inside of that building is a lot more interesting than you think.”

Entering through two glassy, sliding doors, Monsuta was proven right when they were met with a painting of various sea creatures swimming around in a large tank the size of half the building it self. Cashew nearly had to be pushed through the path in order to not block the people behind them, since the man was over-struck with awe. They went under an arch in the tank where they became surrounded by various tropical fish of neon colours, seeing sting rays with smiling faces, sharks of various sizes, and even jellyfish with different patterns and tentacles. As they made their way through various tanks containing different animals, Cashew couldn’t help but remember their previous chat and would notice how whenever Monsuta childishly ran up to the glass, the sea animals quickly darted away and hid from him.

“You know you are a very lucky man” Cashew confessed as they found a great view to watch the fish tank from a bench not far away. Everyone’s face in the building was illuminated with a blue light, and the steady sound of splashing and bubbles made the mood feel extremely dreamy. Time became slowed.

“In what way?” This sudden remark had faintly surprised Monsuta.

“You have a power which pushes danger away from you, such as these tiger sharks, and therefore, you are simply a lucky man.” Cashew was also referencing to all the times Monsuta had survived his threats and attempts to kill him.

“I think your impression of me is flawed.” They sat in silence for a while, letting the sound of bubbles and splashes once again fill their ears. Eventually, Monsuta decided to pop this bubble.

“You know, after spending some time with those lions, I just thought how nice it actually is to relax next to someone and feel safe from danger.”

“That is extremely ironic, considering you were ‘relaxing’ next to a pack of one of the world’s most dangerous hunters!”

“Well think about it, there’s also the danger of hunters trying to kill you in the wild, and the fact that it’s creatures with larger brains and guns roaming around proves that it’s simply better to be sent into a zoo and live happily with those you love.”

(Oh I see what’s going on) Cashew annoyedly thought to himself, (he’s trying to get me to agree with him. Well that will never happen, just you wait and see!) Having these thoughts in mind, Cashew began straining every last nook and cranny of his brain in order to find anything to say against Monsuta.

“Hunting is just part of the food chain. People, like animals, hunt other creatures in order to eat and survive... it’s not like they have a choice, they must hunt other wise they could die.”

“Well surely there is no way that guns and specialised gear natural, it’s obviously a disadvantage for the ones being hunted?”

Despite both sides not fully believing what they were arguing for, something deep inside them changed for the moment, fuelling more and more adrenaline and ambition into their speeches.

“Well we are omnivores for a reason, and some can’t just grow crops in a snowy or deserted area. We are part of the food chain, and there’s no justification needed for such a primal activity.”

“Yes except there’s a whole pocket full of hunting for sport and animals are going extinct left and right!”

The two men were now off the bench and had begun to briskly make their way through the rest of Sea World. Fish and people blurred by them and so did their meaningless arguments. Eventually, they entered the final hall of the building, a room which was completely black except for the shimmering, illuminated scales of the strange fish swimming here. This place contained the final collection of the weirdest and rarest creatures, silencing the two men with a fresh wave of amazement.

“Hey why are we even arguing about this?”

Cashew looked over to where Monsuta was standing. The other seemed to be looking at him, but at the same time it was as if his eyes went through Cashews body.

“I think it’s safe to say that we both care about our original points, but don’t mind the other’s as well. Lets accept our differences and not make a big deal out of this. After all,” Monsuta’s eyes went back into focus as his momentum gained speed once again, “we would become much greater individuals if only we shared our ideas and saw the world in a new light!”

Sadly for Monsuta, Cashew had ended up not listening to a single word of his inspirational speech, instead his eyes drifted to a sign placed directly behind the blonde, reading: ‘danger, Piranhas are the most fearsome animals alive and a single touch to the water can leave you immediately fingerless and even possible DEATH!’ Doing some sort of weird shoe-lace-tying action, Cashew gathered all of his spiritual and physical power within himself, and leaned foreword so intensely, that he head-butted Monsuta’s chest as forcefully as he could. The other, more from surprise rather than power, lost his balance and for the second time that day, fell into an exhibit of a deadly predators.

A loud splash was heard, and a shout from Monsuta’s voice. Cashew on the other hand, took his sweet time of savouring the other’s sufferings and, without looking up, proceeded to calmly untie, and retie his shoelace. Yet upon looking up, his eyes met with the displeasing view of Monsuta standing before him, all drenched, and with all limbs still intact. Cashews mouth dropped and his shock kept him squatted on the floor.

“Uh, I hate getting drenched, and that water was cold... but it seems that the piranhas aren’t as brave as that lion was...” Monsuta slumped down to the floor next to Cashew with a dejected sigh. Getting out a soaked book from his pocket, Monsuta began flipping through some pages until he got to a specific section with a drawing of some sort of fish skeleton and proceeded to read it.

“Piranhas’ bad reputation is at least partially Teddy Roosevelt’s fault. When Theodore Roosevelt journeyed to South America in 1913, he encountered, among other exotic creatures, several different species of piranha. Writing about a bloodthirsty fish sells for a lot more than that of a small encounter with a little bite from the thing.. bla, bla, bla... The fact is, hungry piranha will bite almost anything, even other piranhas. However, piranha normally feasts on other species of fish or wounded animals - not humans. In fact, more piranhas are eaten by people than people are eaten by piranhas. Oh, and did I forget to mention, that all animals are scared of me?”

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