What would you do, to get yourself back? What wouldn't you do? On the island of Kallsoy there is a story. The story says that once upon a time, there was a woman of the sea who fell so in love with a fisherman that she shed her sealskin and walked on new legs out of the waves to be his wife. She bore him many children, and never again turned her gaze to the sea. The story says: you can make a human out of what is not. The story says: this new human will even love you for it.
There is a spot on my running route where I lose sight of the city. I am surrounded by the lake, blue, blue, so blue I can taste it. This must be what it is like to be a fish: the sweet tang of water, and infinity. Then I make the turn, and the city rushes back, rising up with its face to the sky. I have seen this hundreds of times. The lake, the turn, the city. But it fills my heart up every time. I must make a bowl of my hands to carry the overflow. It feels like love but i
Use the last sentence of the closest book to you as the first sentence of a story. We finger empty notebooks and then feel dirty about it, their empty pages like vacuums for all the promises I breathed into your mouth. I'm going to write you down. "You didn't," says you-in-my-head, so sharp and hi-def in the clasp of your shoulder and your bicep but blurred and weary around the eyes I am already forgetting. "You didn't write anything." My fingers shiver into their goosebump j
monsters aren't meant to be touched. June's parents buy the squid on kind of a whim. Her little brother has always been into marine biology, and the idea of surprising him with his own giant squid had appealed to June's mother when she spotted the sign in the curiosity shop on the border of a small town they stopped in for the night on the way to Colorado. Their yard is barely big enough for the tank, so June's father has to knock down a few of the trees that they planted whe
Over and over and over and over and-- first. Megara grew up the oldest of three daughters. Her father was king. He loved her the way that all kings love their daughters: delightedly and carelessly, rough around the edges. Her mother braided her hair in long plaits down her back and her father wasted no time in ruining them with playful tugs and easy tousles. She was raised the way all princesses are raised. To be be looked at. To be Queen. The first time she saw Hercules, he
The condition of loving someone or something that does not exist. Shelby’s Diner is settled on the corner of Nth Street and Main, across the street from Christ's Love Book Store and just beside John-John's Car Parts. When Shelby's first opened, they offered free lunches to all the mechanics at John-John's, because the owner, McNaulty, drove a Ford that used to break down every time it rained. The Ford finally died buried under six feet of snow during the worst winter the town
alien hand syndrome: the condition of one's body parts moving of their own volition. Cavendish Grotto is seven and a half years of age when he loses control of his right hand. He wakes up to a normal morning, with normal birds and the normal weight of his blankets pooled around his calves, and tramps downstairs to eat a normal breakfast. His mother puts an apple in front of him, though he loathes apples, because she believes that one green thing a day guarantees a life of hea
In Celtic Mythology, the wives of the underworld were lake-sirens in Wales. These lovely creatures are known to choose mortal men as their husbands. One legend has it that they live in a sunken city in one of the many lakes in Wales. People claim to have seen towers under water and heard the chiming of bells. In earlier times, there used to be a door in a rock and those who dared enter through it came into a beautiful garden situated on an island in the middle of a lake. In t
The easiest things to lose are the most important ones. The only way to handle pain, Joanna’s father used to tell her, is to aggravate it. Push down on your bruises until they collapse into numb whiteness beneath your fingers. Pain is human. It can be bullied. The scar on her stomach doesn’t hurt anymore, but Joanna tenderizes the skin anyway, every morning in the shower as the hot water pools the ridges where her flesh knotted together badly. She doesn’t feel any different.