The Boy Who Was a Fish

Title: The Boy Who Was a Fish

Word Count: 750

Rating: G

 

Once upon a time – and yes that’s how this story starts. That’s how it must start for all good stories begin with those four words and this is a good story, even if it is just the beginning of it; there was a boy who was born a fish.

This is not so uncommon. His parents were fishes, and his grandparents, and as far back as his family could remember since coming to this land they had all been fishes. What they were before here is a tale for another day but today listen of the boy who was a fish.

He looked enough like his family and swam well enough like his family that for many years the sadness in his heart laid buried, unseen. For though he swam, his strokes were not quite as steady as the other fishes and he never dove as deeply into the rivers as the others. This was a small thing, in the beginning. But as the boy who was a fish (was, do you see where our story goes) grew up he became discomforted in his own skin.

These were not the waters he wished to swim; and though he loved his family out of duty, theirs were not the voices he wished to hear.

The boy who was a fish had a secret, one he did not quite know yet. He wished more than anything to fly.

The wish grew, as wishes tend to do when left unchecked,, until it was the only thing he could think of: wind and sky and sun and he wanted it so badly he thought he might die.

So the boy who was a fish did the only thing he could think to do: he began to try.

His family scoffed at him. “what use is flying when you can swim?”

“If I can fly I am bound by nothing but my own strength. Here we are trapped by the edges of the river, we can only go so far.”

His family did not listen.

“We are fish but we are also people. what use is flying when you can just as easily walk across the land?”

“Land is well enough for some and perhaps I could be happy there if I tried, but my heart calls to the sky.”

“You’ll never make it.” His family waved his wishes away. “You’ll be back. You’ll see, this is impossible.”

The boy who was a fish but wanted to be more saw he would get no support here. Although he did not turn to a sea witch for help, she would have told hi to do exactly as he did: climb out of his river every day until he traded fins for legs. Walk up the highest hill he could find until he thought he would collapse, and then run back down, jumping before hitting water’s edge and trading legs for fins again.

Every day the boy who was a fish did these things. Some days he made it farther than others. Some days left him, broken and weak on the side of hills until friends came to retrieve him (a girl who was a tree but thought she was a fish and some days was both and some days was neither but this is not her story, although she plays a part.) Every day he pulled himself from his river and did these things. Again and again and again.

The sea witch he did not bargain with would have said good, Now put that practice into use and fly. And the first day he jumped, shifting forms from boy to something else and felt the wind buoy him from beneath his wings he gave a cry of triumph and heartache, so intertwined were the two feelings that it would be many years before he untangled them.

The boy who was a fish had done what he had been told was impossible: he had flown. And although he was still a boy an dstill a fish, his fins were tailored differently now and feathered and more wing than fin, if you knew how to look.

“Those won’t take you far.” said the boy/fish/bird’s family.

“Maybe not.” He smiled. “But they’re mine and I’ll find out exactly how far I can go with them.”

He did not turn his back on the river, not completely because there was still love there. Obligatory family love and freely given love to those he called friends. But he walks away with head held high, spread his fins/arms/wings and flew towards the sun.

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Growing Certainty of Over

Title: Growing Certainty of Over

Word Count: 804

Rating: PG

Notes: Written to the prompt Recovery also reposted because wordpress ate my formatting and despite my best efforts, I could not fix that entry.

Her childhood bedroom is almost exactly as she remembers leaving it: pastels and stuffed animals and a shelf full of terrible body sprays painstakingly curated from over priced stores in the mall. Her bed looks too tiny – threadbare little mermaid quilt smoothed into place, beckoning her back, beckoning her home.
This is her life now. She sat her bag down, small and lonely and grown up though it was. Terribly out of place in this room of the past.

Much like her.

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You Want a Better Story

Title: You Want a Better Story 

Word Count: 1,388

Rating: PG

Notes: This piece does touch on the concept of God, and as such I have been told by a couple of people that it made them uncomfortable. So there’s that.

 

John finds God on a Wednesday at Starbucks. She’s there when he pulls in, standing at the door and smiling vaguely in his direction. “Right on time,” she says. Which he thinks is strange, since he only just decided coffee sounded like a good idea before turning into the parking lot. Continue reading

Where No One Can be Found

Title: Where No One Can be Found (1228 words)

Word Count: 1,228

Rating: PG-13

Notes: Trigger warning, this piece contains allusions to suicide and self harm. 

He is two eyes and a wide smile in the fuzzy semblance of a man. She is reminded of the exact nature of his condition when she goes to touch his shoulder and her hand passes through him. He offers an apologetic shrug like, what can you do, and they both move more carefully after.

He says “I almost didn’t think you would come.”

She laughs. “I almost didn’t, thought I was going crazy when I heard your voice.” They move through the forest, one whisper quiet (dead silent, haha. And she tries to punch him for that, forgets again that this isn’t how things should be) and the other alive and rustling underbrush and snapping twigs and wait, can we stop, I need to catch my breath.

Soon, all too soon, the dirty grey of pre-dawn slides into the sky and they find themselves at the bridge. She leans over the railing and looks down, down, down. The river is a thin thread far below.

“Hey,” he says. “Come with me.” She thinks about it – he smiles hopefully at her – and she says “I don’t know if I can.” He sighs, jumps, fades out of existence mid-leap and she is left alone for the moment.
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