We love a good airship, but what about airships made of giant floating fish monsters? What kind of stories take place in a city in which these creatures fill the skies?

This week's concept art piece is "Floating Fish" by Mats Minnhagen, via The Art of Animation. You can see the full image below. Study it, let its fishiness work its way into your brain, and see what kind of story you can come up with—and post it in the comments.


Here's my story:

Bela BellĂ­ came up with the idea for the ridiculous airships over lunch. He was halfway through his battered cod and french fries when he held up a half-eaten tender, struck by a bolt of tartar-fueled inspiration. "Fish and ships!" he cried out. Then he repeated the phrase several times, the pronouncement getting softer after each bite of fish. BellĂ­ always had been fond of puns.

BellĂ­ was a famous eccentric, and while the public had little use for his singing toast or stuffed puffins that screamed when turned upside down, orders poured in for his floating fish airships. The bloated beasts ate special pellets that they could convert into a gas that was lighter than air, and the operator could regulate the rate of the conversion process.

BellĂ­ christened the first ship the "Findenburg," which made Noreen, his mechanic, roll her eyes. If there was one thing BellĂ­ liked more than puns, it was tempting fate. Noreen quietly invested in a caterpillar train endeavor.

For a while, the fish ships floated through the city if not majestically, then at least efficiently. They bypassed the crowded streets, and could haul more than even the sturdiest mule. (Although there was a distinct increase in injuries by falling parcel.) During the downpours of monsoon season, they hovered high above the mud, happy as fish in water.

When the first fish ship exploded, it was easy to write off as an accident. Maybe the fish ate too much. Maybe the operator ramped up the conversion too quickly. But soon the skies were filled with schools of fishy fireballs. When it was discovered that the roasted debris was not just edible, but quite tasty (with a note, some people insisted, of cayenne pepper), Noreen realized this was another one of BellĂ­'s jokes.

BellĂ­ insisted the problem was that fish were simply too flammable. Sea cows, he assured his customers, would make more stable airships. He even knew a gene tweak that could make them as a big as whales.

Noreen, who had seen BellĂ­'s old recordings of the Hidenburg disaster, could spot a pun a mile away. After closing on each new airship order, she sent BellĂ­'s customers across the street, where her cousin was making a killing in insurance.