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Fish Stocks Limited

“A miracle!” announced Jacob. “Nothing short of a miracle!”
“I just got my eye in, that's all,” said Ambrosius. A fine sweat was evaporating off
his forehead and he felt drained but happy. He wanted more.
“You made your £500,000 back and another £100,000 on top! Kid, I
underestimated you. You can have your job. You're going to go far, I'm telling you.
Just make sure you sign over that twenty grand in stock over to me.”
Stan and Ambrosius left the Fish Stocks Limited building with a spring in their
step. That devilish grin that was at first only Stan's was now Ambrosius' as well.
****
Chapter 18 – The Boy Who Rode The Fish
“So you're saying the minute you smashed the abacus you just started to feel for
what was going to happen?”
“Yes,” said Ambrosius. They were sitting around the fire in Stan's hovel, a
celebratory bass roasting on a spit over the fire. The velvet evening was drawing
dreamily in outside, lapping in rolls of nightfall over the land. Pleasant smells of
cooking fish and wood-smoke oozed mesmerically through the close atmosphere of
the interior, drowning out the usual sluggish, garbage stench of the urban air. They sat
in silence for a while, drinking in the gentle cool of the gloaming.
“I used to sit round the fire like this with my dad.” said Stan after a short pause.
There was something reluctant about his voice that hinted of a mellifluous sadness;
such a quality often accompanies fond memories now faded but not forgotten. “He
used to talk in rhyme and tell me these incredible stories; parables even. Have you
ever heard of The Boy Who Rode The Fish?” As he said the words his eyes flashed
wide in the firelight.
“No, I don't think so,” said Ambrosius, yawning. He was starting to slide down
from the plateau of frenetic energy that his short buzz on the stock market had
created. The warmth of the fire and the closeness of the tumbledown walls made him
feel sleepy, but he tried to focus on Stan's voice.
“I can remember it like it was yesterday, he told me it that many times. I always
wondered what it meant.” Stan smiled enigmatically. “You want to hear it?”
“Go on then,” said Ambrosius, leaning back into the darkness.
“Well,” said Stan, waving his hands in front of the fire like a conjurer. The flames
hornpiped and tangoed, twisting into shapes of fish and men. “The story goes
something like this...”
There once was a boy not ten years grown,
Who lived in a cottage all on his own.
His nephews and aunties and uncles were late,
His mother and father had met the same fate.
Every new Smugrise he would lay a flower,
Over each earthy, tombstone-marked bower.
Through thick and thin, rain's pelt and thunder's din,
 
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