The Unnamed Protagonist


Taipei, Taiwan, January 20th, 2007. I was at an aquarium in the middle of a car show. I wanted to buy a souvenir but there weren’t any left. I felt very sad for myself because this was the first time I was visiting, and I really wanted a keepsake to remember the aquarium by. All the souvenirs I had seen online were awesome. Some of them were very expensive so I wanted to buy the cheap one. I did want to buy at least one of the expensive ones like the painting or one of the expensive hoodies.

The aquarium was called “Hard Work”. Such an odd name but it was a good aquarium. There were dolphins and whales. And a monster truck show was going to take place as well. Personally, I was excited for the monster truck show the most. The show was going to take place in a few hours, and I really needed to be there.

After waiting for a few hours, the show finally started. The monster trucks revved their engines to be loud to the crowd and drove out proud. The monster trucks were awesome. They came in all different shapes and sizes. The announcer then started announcing the events.

“Our first, and ONLY event. The whale run-over!!!” Said the announcer.

“Wait, what the hell. Why?” I asked myself.

A whale was on a forklift, and it got placed in middle of the parking lot. The monster trucks then came and ran over the whale, making a gruesome mess all over the place. The crowd was covered in blood. Everyone screamed and ran except for me. I went to the honeybucket and washed my face off with the blue water. It reminded me of blue raspberry-flavored soda.

After washing up, I went back to the aquarium. “Maybe they restocked the merchandise”, I thought. However, that was not the case. The shelves were empty. I needed to complain to the owner about this debacle.

The owner’s place of residence was a very tall tower atop the aquarium. He owned the car show, the aquarium, and the car shows obviously. From what I’ve heard, the tower is themed like toys. But there’s only one way to find out if that’s true. And that’s to explore the tower.

I went inside of the tower. There was an elevator in the middle of the aquarium that takes you up to the tower. On the walls of the elevator were propaganda telling you to buy merchandise for the aquarium and to attend every car show. Ironic how the car show was horrible and there was no merchandise left to purchase.

I was in the tower; the rumors were correct. The tower was toy themed. It felt like a child’s dream. The floor was checkered, and the walls were made of wood. The interior design was unique in that there were toys littered about. There were two possible scenarios about the toys laying around. One: The owner was lazy and never organized the toys. And two: the toys were meant to lay on the floor and collect dust. I took one of the toys with me.

The owner sat on his train, rode to the room I was in, and greeted me.

“Ahoy, what brings you here?” Said the owner.

“I’m looking for a souvenir for the aquarium.” I replied.

“Ahoy mate, me have no souvenirs left, maybe me coax yer to come back tomorrow?” Said the owner.

“No thanks, this trip was already expensive, and I have a pet at home to take care of.” I replied.

“Aww damn, yer upset your bossy. Now give me a hug and keep me from crying. Boo Hoo.” Said the owner.

“Alright, I’ll come tomorrow.” I said reluctantly.

“That’s yar spirit! Now come to me office!” exclaimed the owner.

I then hurriedly tried to hop on the owner’s train, but I missed just barely. Now I had to walk all the way up the tower. I was disappointed in my own mistake. I realized that it would take hours just to get to the top, but I had to. There was a chance I’d get a souvenir from the owner if I was nice enough. I know he’s lying about not having any souvenirs, but why lie to me? I don’t know.

I started traveling through the tower when I heard some commotion coming from one of the side rooms. I opened the door and to my surprise, there were what looked to be two time travelers arguing. I tried asking what’s the matter but they both drew swords and started clashing with each other. I tried breaking up the commotion, but no strategies worked.

The owner of the aquarium came on his train through the room I was in.

“What is the meaning of all this!!!” Yelled the owner.

“He did it!” exclaimed both the time travelers at the same time.

After five minutes of the time travelers clashing, they gave up and grew too tired to fight. Both the time travelers then vomited at the same time and left back to go to their original time.

“I’m sorry yer had to witness this. Let me con yer out of a coin and I’ll see what I can do.” Said the owner.

I gave the owner a penny and waited for an hour. The owner came back with a penny having the words “Hard Work” imprinted on it. I was happy, I finally got a souvenir to remember this aquarium by. Looks like the owner wasn’t lying to me after all. I told the owner that I was going back home and I also thanked him for the souvenir.

I got back home and fed my pet. I then fell asleep afterwards. The next morning, I was too tired to go back to the aquarium. I felt guilty that I couldn't come back.

Published Nov. 12th, 2021