Directions

After swimming among the clouds on a sparkling vernal day, I came upon a fish in the sky and asked him for directions back to the surface of this low-gravity planet. The fish ignored me at first, perhaps mistaking me for an outlander. I reiterated my request, this time employing a more native inflection, which seemed to startle the fish. 

“Apologies to you and to the seventh ring of your cousins,” said the fish. “What is my obligation?”

“Only to direct me to the nearest downdraft that I might quit these lofty heights,” I said. “No further obligation required.”

“In that case, you may wish to follow the prevailing winds to the other side of those cumulus clouds.” The fish flippered in a direction counter to the planet’s rotation. “Just over the ridge.”

Before I could properly thank the fish, he dove into the nearest cloud bank, while I continued on my journey to return to the surface. After all, I had passage on the next interstellar transport and still needed time to pack my meager belongings. 

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