Posted on 2010-05-08
Disclaimer: I know nothing about sharks. All shark-related facts are a figment of the author's imagination. No sharks were hurt in the production of this.
It is a truth universally acknowledged that a shark cannot raise its eyebrows archly, for sharks, as everybody knows, do not have body hair. None of it. Not having to shave, Elizabeth Bennet thought, was definitely one of the perks of being a shark, but there were certain drawbacks. Not having legs, for one thing, was quite a bother, and having to live in a tank was another. One could not read books in a tank. She had tried out audio-books, but she had almost grilled herself that day and her husband had forbidden her to use the mp3-player again.
Her husband! Elizabeth tried to groan, but being a shark, and not able to speak, she could not groan and thus she had to hit her head against the tank walls in frustration.
'Dearest, loveliest Elizabeth,' someone exclaimed and it was then that Elizabeth knew that her husband had come home. Hastily, she swam across the tank to the wall facing the door and greeted him with several enthusiastic swirls of her fins. On her first days in the tank, she had tried to smile at him whenever she saw him, but he had confessed to having nightmares from her smiles and thus she had to stop doing that, which was a shame, because sharks have teeth that keep regrowing and are thus always in excellent condition.
Elizabeth wiggled her tail questioningly at her husband.
'No luck today, darling,' he said, shrugging. 'But I bought a cow for you.'
Elizabeth's spirits rose, and sure, soon enough, a whole dead cow, full of delicious blood, was lowered into her tank. She sank her teeth into it greedily, not having eaten all day. She was convinced that human flesh would taste even better than cow, but her husband had been against it and, living in a tank, she did not have much to say in the matter.
'I tried my best, darling,' her husband continued to explain as she fed. 'I went all the way to Delaford-7. Evelyn Brandon is said to be the greatest living expert on time machines, so I hoped he would be able to help us, but he was not there. An emergency in the family, his servants told me, although if you ask me, it's more to do with that red-head he's had an eye on lately, Mary-Anne I think she's called. You remember her, she's the sister of that Eleanor girl, who's been said to be involved with that Nedward Ferrars, you know, the bloke who -'
Elizabeth hit her head against the tank wall. How often had she told her husband not to gossip! He, however, misunderstood her.
'Oh, of course you know her, Elizabeth,' he said. 'Remember, we met her at the charity ball the evening before the, uhh, incident -'
Elizabeth groaned inwardly. If only he would stop to refer to her accident in the time machine as 'the incident.' There simply was no politically correct way to inform people that one's beloved wife of several years had been turned into a shark. And it was not as if it was not his fault in the first place. If he had not insisted that it was a smart idea for them to travel back in time and give Wickham a good kick up his -
'So I'm afraid we'll have to travel back through space after all,' Darcy interrupted her thoughts. 'I am sorry, Elizabeth, but I need you to be a woman again. I feel lonely without you.'
Elizabeth flung her tail against the tank wall.
'Yes, I know, darling,' Darcy said. 'I'm always welcome in the tank. However, may I also remind you that the last time I climbed in there, you tried to nibble on my toes? And not in the good way, I should add.'
Elizabeth lowered her eyes. It was true, she had almost forgot herself that day. What could she say, she had been really hungry and he had smelled so deliciously.
'So I've asked Mrs Reynolds to have the space bike ready for us by tomorrow morning,' Darcy continued. 'Remember the bike, Elizabeth? You used to love to ride it.'
His voice was getting husky now, and he had that certain come-hither expression in his eyes. Unfortunately, Elizabeth could not get out of the tank. Ever since the unfortunate incident with the plumber, Darcy had made sure that the glass was break-proof. Elizabeth collected her thoughts and immediately saw the flaw in the plan. She wiggled her tail in the hope that her husband would see it too.
'Oh, right,' he finally said. 'Your helmet won't fit you anymore.'
Elizabeth wiggled her tail faster.
'Oh,' he said. 'No legs. Yes, I can see where that could get problematic.'
Elizabeth tried to sigh, but sharks cannot sigh, so she simply had another bite of cow.
'I suppose we could try the time-machine,' her husband mused. 'I'm pretty sure that was a one-time glitch ...'
Sharks cannot protest loudly, however much they want to. The only thing Elizabeth could do to express her opinion that this was a damn stupid idea was to pick up the cow bones with her pretty white teeth and shake them at her husband. He, however, misunderstood her once again.
'Oh, yes, you like your cows, don't you, Elizabeth?' he said. 'Good girl, Elizabeth, you ate all your cow.'
Elizabeth rammed her head into the wall.
'So, I think I'll set the time machine for tomorrow morning and we can travel to earth and get help for you there,' Darcy said. 'Are you excited, Elizabeth?'
Outside, meanwhile, Georgiana was conversing with Jane.
'He's not having a good day today,' Jane said. 'He was talking about Elizabeth all day again.'
'Is he still convinced that shark is Elizabeth?' Georgiana asked.
'I'm afraid so,' Jane said and sighed. 'He tried to climb into the tank again.'
'He simply won't believe that she left him,' Georgiana said. 'My poor brother.'
'Well, I'll be the first to admit that her disappearance was rather sudden,' Jane said. 'And it was most unfair of her not to leave a letter. His story, however, is -'
'Totally bonkers,' Georgiana finished. 'An accident in the time machine. I ask of you!'
'Yes, I know,' Jane said. 'Poor man. Believing the shark is Elizabeth really seems to help him.'
'Yes, but it's dangerous!' Georgiana said. 'You know, the other day, he tried to climb into the tank! We got him out just as the shark tried to bite off his feet.'
'I've got it locked now, though,' Jane said. 'It's completely safe now.'
'Thank God,' Georgiana said. 'Hey, have you heard the latest gossip about Elinor Dashwood and Edward Ferrars?'The End