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Meeting of Shellholders

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In the deep blue down under, down the dark ocean, beneath the coral places where the blue marlins and the blue tangs met, below where the blue-banded gobies mingled with the blue-headed wrasse, in the depth of blue so deep it’s practically pitch black, lived those who feared not the dark.

Once one descended into such darkness, one saw nothing. Once one descended further, maybe if in the right place at the right time, one might spot a ring of yellow or white dots, bright little shimmering lights in the depths. Or perhaps one received an invitation reading something along the lines of; AnglerCarp PLC shall, as the great migration of the humpback whales occurs and passes by the AnglerCarp Pacific Headquarters at 104 Challenger Deep, Mariana Trench, NPO, conduct its Annual Meeting.

All about the circle of these lights was the swirling swarm of attendees. There had been a dead silence between all of them until at last the humpback’s call. It was a wave in a lengthy drawn-out high pitch, a wail of a siren followed by another, and another. When the noise passed, when it stopped, the fat fangtooth angler that had up to this point swayed in place nigh otherwise motionless, closed its gaping jaw. The light coming from other angler’s lures reflected in its dead black eyes, then its teeth moved, and it spoke of procedure and etiquette for the meeting:

‘Before we discuss the non-binding votes for approvals of compensation packages,’ it droned on and on in a deep sombre voice, ‘which has been a boiling topic in recent times, proposals will be given and heard, voting for or against policies will open. Let’s not forget the election of members to the circle of directors and approval of a fin-ancial accounting firm for review…’

As the fangtooth spoke, the queen angelfish and parrotfish, opening and closing their mouths swooned over the great barracuda brothers, while the other attendees spoke amongst themselves:

‘Will they short their algae position?’

‘Commodities are in boon, go all-in on reef estate, safest investment.’

‘Isn’t it in a bubble? Sell while you can.’

A fishbone swooped down through the meeting place. In the glimmering glint of the angler lights, there were great fins and a bulky bow of the half-pale half-rotting hammerhead, with a wide smile it dived down onto the mass gathering.

One triggerfish flailed about, whirling the water around it until the red poured in a puff of cloud, then stopped moving.

The clownfish crooned:

‘The meeting of shellholders is postponed until further notice.’


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