Fishbowl – L. Reeves

The aquarium had become polluted. The sides and edges were dirty. It desperately needed cleaning. The simple minded creatures inside were uncomfortable and crowded. Only an invasive species of parasite was still thriving in the muck. It exploited a number of dead and dying species that floated near the top of the rim. It was way past time for the tank to be washed out and scrubbed.

Therein was the problem. There was nowhere else to keep them all while it was being cleaned. The occupants couldn’t survive outside their bowl long enough to make it inhabitable again. The species which lived inside it were incredibly fragile and completely dependent upon the balanced ecosystem to live.

Once the need was recognized, a plan was set in place. Instead of a complete aquatic overhaul, it was decided to cleanse small sections of the bowl at a time. That way a full relocation of the population wasn’t necessary. In order not to frighten the simple creatures unaware of a larger world, a systematic cleaning had to be achieved in a subtle way. Seeing a giant hand sweep down from the heavens to perform the necessary sanitizing would only traumatize them.

Hurricanes, monsoons, typhoons and tornadoes were employed to scrub the edges and wash away debris. Tsunamis and tidal waves recirculated the clean water. Forest fires burned off the decayed soil and earthquakes buried it deep in the soil. Torrential rains and flooding helped to redistribute the elements. Dramatic temperature shifts were employed to finish off the parasites. Finally the Earth was fresh and clean again.

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