i

The aquarium is large, and oxygen is pumped in with fancy equipment that hums. There are shells and plastic plants and gravel and a ceramic lily pad holding three ceramic frogs and a ceramic sign that states 'Welcome to our pad.' The water is getting low, and turning green. The shells and even the fake plants are turning a rust colour because the tank hasn't been cleaned for such a long time. The black angelfish sits almost still in the water, alone. There was another, but it starved to death. The small catfish still swim around and around near the bottom, exploring the same things again and again. They no longer swim as fast as they used to, I notice.

All this takes place a few feet from me, but I will do nothing. They are not my fish, it is not my aquarium.

ii

As I get out of bed, I notice that the air is a bit thinner, and the stink has gotten a bit worse. I go to the kitchen. It is a nice kitchen. The drapes are in good taste, and the nice sign declaring 'Home, Sweet Home' cheers me up from time to time. I drink two cups of instant coffee and take a shower.

I dress and get into my car, fully aware that cars are being discouraged because of their pollution. I think to myself, 'At least I don't use hair spray.' I go to work at Micronomics, Inc., which makes the best microchips in the world. Soon my plant will be closed down because of its three huge smokestacks. The government has finally decided that we help to cause acid rain.

Once home again, I notice that the grass on my lawn, on every lawn in fact, is dead. The paint on my house is beginning to crack. And the air is thinner. And the smell is worse.

iii

All this Lucifer watches, but he will not do anything. They are not his people, it is not his world. Let others play God.

-Turin Turambar