I pulled a random book off my shelf: The Life of Pie.
I used a random number generator to choose the sentence starting on the sixth line on the two hundred and eighty-third page.
I wrote for ten minutes and this is the story I got.
The Fish Reaper
“I reaped dead fish from the ponds.”
“Wait, wait, wait!” Cried a little Betta. “I’m only a few weeks old! Please just let me live a little-.”
“Sorry,” I tell her. “Your person shouldn’t have fed you so much.”
I dropped the dead fish in the white bucket at my side and reached back into the pond to yank out the soul of a Tiger Shark killed off the coast of New Zealand.
Next appeared the soul of a gold fish who lay gasping on the floor of an apartment in Boston. However, at the absolute last second someone scooped him up and dropped him back into the tank. It happens sometimes.
There are jobs that are worse than being the Fish Reaper. At least I’m not the Dog Reaper or the Kitty Reaper, hated by all children for stealing away their best friends. What I’d really like to be is the Tapeworm Reaper. No one cares when the tragic life of a tapeworm comes to a close.
The little goldfish appeared in my pond once more. It has somehow found itself back on the floor. Once again, it is saved before I could grasp it.
My many hands continued to remove billions of fish from the pond’s chilled water. Minnows, catfish, trout, salmon, sharks (many murdered because of movies) clown fish and sea horses all find their way into the white bucket. A major oil company made an ass out of itself, spilling millions of gallons in the Atlantic. I go into overdrive.
However, I once again come into contact with the little goldfish in Boston. This time I take a moment to examine the scene.
A twelve-year-old boy in a shark T-Shirt is scooping the goldfish up, dropping him on the carpet and watching him gasp. Then just as the fish is about to die, the boy drops him back into the tank, laughs and grabs him again.
This time the boy presses his fat, pink foot against the fish’s struggling body. He grins, saliva glinting off his chin. The soul is almost in my grasp when the boy dunks him back into to the tank.
He is about to rip it back out again when I announce, “Enough!” reach into the pond, tear out the boy’s soul and dunk him into the white bucket.
“Hey!” The Skunk Reaper shouts next to me. “That doesn’t belong to you!”
I shrug. “He was wearing a shark T-Shirt. I got confused.”