Cleaning the Fishbowl and Other Disruptions

April 3, 2024
Artist News, Fellowship

In her second FAWC fellowship, writer Molly Anders is reworking a short-story collection

Molly Anders comes at her subjects “sort of sideways.” Photo: Michael Cestaro

Provincetown, MA

As a kid, Molly Anders put her red betta fish in the microwave. Hearing this, you might envision a toilet bowl funeral and a big flush. That’s not what happened.
Here’s what did: Setting out to clean the fishbowl, she dumped the dirty water out, wiped away the scum, refilled the bowl, and poured the fish back in. But the new water was too cold. Its equilibrium disrupted, the fish turned on its side, one eye swiveling skyward. Anders tapped the glass, panicked. The fish started spinning.

She saw the microwave, put the bowl in, and pressed “Start.” A few seconds later, the machine beeped, and she took the bowl out.

The wispy body righted itself and slowly stopped rotating. The fish, she says, lived many more years.

Unexpected resuscitations also happen in Anders’s fiction. You start the story, you make a prediction, and then Anders proves you wrong. Or rather, she shocks something like a déjà vu of the inexplicable back into your consciousness.


Read the full article in The Provincetown Independent here.

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