Fish"Knowledge is power!" some religious official is booming from his post overlooking the street. Right, knowledge is power. Horace knew a lot of things. He knew everything he needed to know, at least. He knew the fisherman's schedule, he knew he was nineteen tomorrow, he knew its been almost thirteen years since he was orphaned and, best of all, he knew there was no "God".
Still, he enjoyed sitting by his favorite alley across from the church. Sometimes, people would give the nameless boy a glance. If he was real lucky, a coin or a crumb would be tossed his way.
The nameless boy turned his head towards the noise, finding a young girl coming his way with two rolls of bread. Her name is Ruby. He gave her that name, because her hair is red as rubies and she is most definitely the most precious jewel in his possession, no matter how much he steals in his years to come.
"Ruby" He blinks at his companion with puzzled eyes. "Where did you get the bread?"
Ruby put on her best angel face, fondling the food in what was obviously nervousness.
"Well..." She began, "I paid very close attention when you stole those fish last time and..."
The nameless boy's eyes grew to the size of golf balls, "Tell me you're kidding! Ruby, you could have been jailed!"
Ruby, despite being scolded, managed a grin. "I wasn't, though! Look, there's even one for you!"
Fish couldn't help but smile half-heartedly and share in his companion's spoils.
At this point, you may be wondering why the nameless boy is dubbed "Fish" It's a simple story. The boy often spent his days boarding fishing boats, scrounging up as many fish as he could carry off the ship without being noticed.As a consequence, all he brings back to eat is fish. Ruby coined his nickname when they were just kids, and it stuck.
In any case, none of this matters. At the moment, the boy has started out an entirely usual morning. This is to change. Everything he knows, all he understand is to be swept out from under his feet today.
Looking back on it now? He could have done something. Maybe he could have told her some kind of goodbye, or.. Or something. He could have held her hands, looked into her eyes and told her how he really felt. How he loved her. Most of all, maybe he could have saved her.
* * *
Massive herds of people crowded the streets, pushing people aside, worried only about getting themselves out of danger.
He could practically feel her heart racing alongside his own. All he wanted to do was run run run but there was no way he'd leave ruby behind. No way in deepest depths of hell.
"It's alright-" He lied. Of course it wasn't alright. The roaring shots and terrified screams of the civilians proved his bullshit reassurance.
The two of them were stuck in their alleyway. The only way they could get out is if they leap into the crowd and roll with the sea of fleeing townsfolk.
"I am going to count to three" the boy spoke slowly, forcing himself to be calm for her sake. "On three, you will hold my hand and won't let go. We're going to push into that crowd, okay?"
Ruby trembled, adrenaline rushing.
"F-Fish--" She began, but it was no use.
Without a moment of hesitation, Fish lead the two of them into the sea of bodies. The two of them were tossed this way and that, bound together by intertwined hands. They would make it. They had to make it!
Fate was not so kind.
No warning was given when a man ripped through their grip, pushing past many to get away from the smoke and ash--
"Ruby!!" Fish cried, but when he turned she was already shoved under the masses, subjected to a beating by the feet of the entire Poland population.
He tried to push his way to her, he did, but he was just a boy. Stronger forces, men and women of all sorts, rushed past him and pushed him away from his jewel.
"Ruby!! Ruby!! Ruby, get up, hurry!!" He yelled and screamed for her, but she wasn't even moving anymore. He saw blood. Where her hair was a lovely bright, almost candy red variety, this was dark and cruel. Pouring from her temple and onto the floor, he had a perfect view of her perfection before the last bomb struck the country.
It was enough force to blow a third of the crowd onto their asses, and another quarter of the town's population, including Ruby, burned to ash and bone.
Fish was one of the "lucky" ones. One of those who survived and were rounded up by officials and treated in a makeshift hospital.
You know? That very day, he planned to tell Ruby how he felt. That very day, he would confess his love to her and propose that they flee to America.
There was an old saying he knew. He heard it around the streets, like everything.
"If you want God to laugh, tell him your plans."