A Little Fishy Tale

As Bregu, prince of the Merfolk, swam towards the cave, his apprehension grew. He was about to meet Shkeelvisk, the fearsome king of the crustaceans. His fears proved well founded, for, as soon as he entered the cave, Shkeelvisk rose from his perch in an explosion of bubbles and seaweed and darted towards the newcomer.
“What do you want, shrimp?” growled Shkeelvisk, flexing his mussels.

“I… er… well… er… I want… um… that is to say…” stuttered Bregu.
“Come on, come on, stop floundering, I haven’t got all day.”
Now is not the time to clam up, thought Bregu, I can’t be koi about it. “I have come to ask a favour, O mighty king.”
“Whatever it is, the answer is no.”
“But you haven’t heard what it is yet.”
“Don’t care.”
“But it’s only…”
“If you don’t stop carping on about it, you’ll make me crabby and give me a haddock.”
“But my people need…”
“Whatever it is, you’ll never winkle it out of me.”
If I don’t return with some-fin, my people will not be happy. I’m stuck between a rock and a hard plaice.
“But please your highness, hear me trout.”
“OK then. If it’ll shut you up, let minnow what it is. But speak up, my herring is not so good these days.”
“Thank you. Cod you help us in our war against the Londmen?”
“The Londmen? Those shell-less land grubs. They deserve a good battering. OK. I’ll mullet over and get back to you. But it won’t come cheap.”
And with that, Shkeelvisk dismissed Bregu with a snap of his claw.
Bregu shook his head, muttering. “You know, people would like you more if you weren’t so shellfish.”

My entry in the April 2022 300 Word Story Challenge at SFFChronicles
Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, or other Speculative Fiction