WBM: The Five Substances–Bunglefish

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I figured I should add more about the unstable substances of my world. There are now going to be five in total, all filling different positions in the earthly spectrum (plant, animal, mineral, etc.). So, here is the Bunglefish.

Location and General Information
The bunglefish is one of the five unstable magical substances. Unlike the other four, this substance is actually an animal–a fish to be exact. It can be found in fresh water lakes and rivers and is most abundant in deeper waters.

Bunglefish are roughly two to three feet long, and three to four feet tall with large finger-like spikes protruding from their backs. Their tails are dominated by loose strands of skin that flap behind them lazily. Two tiny, black eyes are overshadowed by a massive, toothless mouth used for eating other fish and rocks. They weigh anywhere from two to fifteen pounds, depending on where they are found–the deeper the water, the larger they become. One of the strange features of the bunglefish are their gills, which seem to glow a bright gold color underwater. Much research has been done into this area, but the reason for this strange glow is yet unknown–there are no gold flakes on their gills or any deep water gold mineral veins.

Bunglefish can be eaten or turned into fish oil and rubbed on the skin. The problem is that consuming the meat fills one’s belly with water in unpredictable quantities. Many have died by consuming the fish purposefully or by accident, drowning in water as it came pouring out of their mouths like rivers. This can go on for hours. Rubbing the oil on one’s skin can produce a more painful result if used in large quantities: the skin begins to seep water and blood and eventually this results in an exceedingly painful death.
Humans are interested in the bunglefish for its ability to rehydrate almost instantly. Like with cacticles, the bunglefish is hard to control. There is no way to tell how effective a particle bunglefish will be, at least not with the technology available to the people of Altern.
Unfortunately, due to the high mortality rate of bunglefish, they are used rarely and are often avoided.

About the Author:

Shaun Duke is an aspiring writer, a reviewer, and an academic. He is currently a graduate student at the University of Florida studying science fiction, postcolonialism, posthumanism, and fantasy.

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