In the factory was a garden and in the garden were ponds, seven of them—red-gold and teeming with koi. "An emotional breed," he said, "and they absolutely love you."
She could hear their hearts flutter as she walked at them. They puffed their bellies and leapt in excitement, then crowded at the edge of the polished stone basin and wagged their fins like the tails of good-natured puppies.
"Oh, they're wonderful," she said, "all of them…But these three here…Oh, these three are special…I'm going to call them by the names of my children…"
"And this one here is Isaac, like the sickly one, but he's not sick, he just needs more room to grow." And at that Isaac leapt straight from the water into her open hands and tuned his soft heart to the tone of her pulse.
"You see," she said, "every good boy needs a mother."
"Oh, Isaac, Isaac, what are we going to do with you? We need to find you a bigger home, don't we?"
"Oh, I do hope you won't miss your brothers and sisters. And they're such good children really, but even the sweet ones are capable of neglect. Michael and Esther are wonderful, wonderful children and any mother would be happy to have them. Oh, but Isaac. Isaac is the special one. What is it that keeps the wonderful ones from getting along with the special ones? We need to find you room to grow."
Isaac gasped in ecstasy—finding love, for the time being, more useful than water.
She carried him on from pond to pond, trying each but loving none.
"Oh, seven ponds, seven ponds and not one of them right! Not enough room, not enough green, not enough light, too many other fish. What are we going to do with my precious little Isaac?"
"What about that one?" he asked. "I think there is an eighth pond…over there…see?"
"Oh, Isaac, look at that. Perhaps you've found a father as well." Her lips curled at the corners and she presented her fine white teeth to the kind, mysterious gentleman. It was the most dangerously erotic she'd been in years.
"Well it sure is a funny looking pond…and the lights are so bright. It looks more like a pool than a pond. A swimming pool."
"Well, you may as well try it anyway. And I think Isaac needs to catch his breath," he urged. His voice came from everywhere at once, like the voice-over to an old cigarette commercial. And he had a very honest face.
"Well, I suppose there's no harm in trying one more…just for a second." She lowered her arms slowly, considering the peculiar nature of this particular pond. Isaac, anxious, and in desperate need of a breath, leapt.
He had just gotten in when she noticed the smell.
"Oh my God, Oh my God!?! Is that chlorine?"