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.

A Voice Inside Your Soul

Title: A Voice Inside Your Soul

Word Count: 4249

Rating: PG-13 for themes of depression and suicide.

 

Jonah was barely through the door when his mother called out to him. Can you sit down for a minute, we need to talk.

We need to talk. Nothing good ever follows those four words. He took a deep breath, jammed his hands in his pocket and said, “Sure thing.”

His mom was in the kitchen, bustling about mixing something in a saucepan. It smelled like hot chocolate. It was ninety-five degrees outside and his mother was making hot chocolate. She only did that for two reasons: It was actually cold, or she had something to say that required a cushion to soften the blow. Jonah tried to think of his school work; if there was anything he was slacking in bad enough to warrant a parental intervention.  But no… No, he was fairly certain his grades were up to snuff. He wasn’t an ace student but he got by. Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Sehnsucht

Title: Sehnsucht

Word Count: 430

Rating: PG

When you are seven you make plans to run away to Neverland. Your bag is packed, hiding under your bed with your piggy bank and all that’s left is to wait until the family is suitably distracted for you to escape. It’s not that they’ve been bad to you, quite the contrary in fact, and it’s not that you want to escape them so much as you want to sate this strange catch in your chest every time you breath. Continue reading

an untitled something

Title: (None)

Word Count: 242

Rating: PG

You press your hand against the hole in her chest. Her breath comes in lurches and gasps – wet and sticky and brimming of the end. You press harder against the wound; praying and hoping and doing all you can- all you know to do- to try and save her.

She says something. The syllables lost to the guttural bubbling of blood that leaks at the corner of her mouth. You want to close your eyes, want to look away to remember her as she was not so long ago (safe and whole and alive and vibrant and warm beneath your hand.) She tries to speak again, you think she might have said “go” or “stop” but the words are still nonsense and besides, both of you know you can’t leave her like this.

“I can fix it,” you tell her, trying for a smile. “It’s alright, I promise, I can fix it.” But you can’t stem the blood, you are helpless here. You feel her pulse flutter beneath your palm and lie to yourself that it’s improving.

She lifts a hand, pale and shaking and presses it against the place where your heart should be. It comes away red and sticky and you know. You know it’s not her blood on her fingers and she smiles for you, with you, you both wear identical lies stretched across your faces. And this time, this time you hear her when she says, “you can’t.”

For Love of Sea

Title: For Love of Sea 

Word Count: 993 words

Rating: PG-13

Notes: Brief mentions of domestic abuse piece inspired by the legend of the selkie

“That’s all the mail?”

Bree flinches at the question, the key in her pocket nearly pulsing with dread. He knows. “Yes,” she says. Her voice stays even and nonchalant by some miracle. He knows, he has to know, damn. “Were you expecting something?”

What did she do with the box? The invoice was shredded and shredded again and flushed, so that’s not a problem, but for a wild moment she can’t remember what she did with the damn box.

Owen shrugs, plopping into the chair at the counter with an audible noise. “Nah, just seems like there should be more to life than bills.” Bree doesn’t relax until she hears the beer can hiss open. She manages to toss a smile over her shoulder. Continue reading

The Other Mirror

Title: The Other Mirror 

Word Count: 886 words

Rating: PG

Notes: Inspired by The Snow Queen

Inside the lodge it is dark and cold. Sadie’s breath frosts in the air as she looks around; there is no fire in the hearth, no candles to provide illumination. Everything is stillness and death and a queer blue light touching the whole room. She rubs her hands together and tries not to brush against anything, already knowing the cups are frozen to the counter and the inviting couches are nothing more than blocks of ice.  A harsh wind blows outside, howling unhappiness to the world. She’d already tried the door, thinking the storm would be better than this eerie nothing, but the knob had stuck fast no matter how she twisted and pulled. Continue reading