When the women slip into the lake, their legs coalesce and grow slippery with scales, a skin so unlike their own. They embrace, exploring the way their bodies feel entwined with the water. Then, one of two disappears to chase after some shadow—the underside of a ship or maybe just an imprint of the painted moon. In the space that remains, a hook appears. It dangles escape like a promise. What could she do but clasp her jaw, let it pierce her cheek and drag her skyward? What could she do but burst from the surface to the sound of gasps and wonder?
Abby Burns holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Notre Dame. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Ghost Parachute, Bending Genres, Pidgeonholes, Unbroken, Entropy, (b)OINK zine, Longridge Review, and elsewhere.
Artwork: Anna Dittmann, Muse