Bedtime stories for children, including ‘Melissa and the Mobility Scooter’. Stories both long and short, perfect for both reading aloud and for encouraging older children to read themselves.
Eric, the X-Ray Fish (Extract)
Eric is an x-ray fish.
It means that he’s transparent. Just in case you were wondering.
And yes, he looks like a fishy skeleton. You can see his bones, but nothing else.
It wasn’t always fun though, being an x-ray fish. He couldn’t pretend he hadn’t just eaten a sweetie – anyone would be able to see it right there in his tummy.
Eric is one of those fish you only hear about in children’s stories – the kind of fish who is more like a person than a fish.
Isn’t that odd?
Have you ever met a fish who is like a person?
Or a person like a fish?
Eric even wears clothes. He wears a beanie hat with holes for his gills. Without those holes, things wouldn’t work properly. He wouldn’t be able to breathe.
He also wears a red belt and sometimes blue braces – but never pants or shirt. I find myself asking why an x-ray fish might need pants or shirts. Yet I don’t think the red belt and blue braces are odd. I guess it is all a matter of style.
Like human beings, Eric is complicated.
Sadly for Eric, he’s unpopular, scared of strangers, invisible, small, sneaky, bossy, and he always feels cold.
I suspect the cold thing is because you can see right through him.
Can you think of anything transparent that’s warm? I can’t, apart from bath water.
Eric never settles or fits in anywhere because everyone sees the belt and braces and beanie hat, but otherwise just sees right through him. How can they make friends with a pile of clothes?
Connie did. She’s his best friend and is an invisible x-ray fish too.
But Connie and Eric aren’t always the easiest of company, even for each other. Let’s just say that things aren’t always cheery when those two are around. Most of the time they’re bored and grumpy.
‘I wish you looked more like me,’ said Eric to Connie. ‘We wouldn’t fall out so much then.’
‘But we’re both invisible,’ said Connie.
And even grumpy, argumentative Eric couldn’t argue with that.