They are always about: dark blobs on the blue ceiling of my home. Their boats swirl past, the wooden bellies an endless annoyance. I can feel them up there, their prying eyes on the lookout. It has been a decade now, since anyone last caught sight of me.
She was a small one, no larger than my youngest offspring. I knew there was no harm in showing off, the tiny set are rarely believed. I let her see my fins, my tail, the shimmer of the water on my curves.
She said nothing. I knew she would keep my secret.
Author’s Note: I kind of like the idea of a lake monster who knows the local tourist industry is hunting for pics or video of it, and toys with them instead of cooperating.
As a teacher of folklore, I had read about Her for years. Her billowing gown, those elegant legs. Her arms, outstretched and pale, as She asks for your last dance.
I thought I was doing okay after the accident. I missed Cerise, of course, and it hurt whenever I visited the grave. I never thought about hurting myself, or the weight I was losing to grief, or how everyone was noticing.
Imagine my surprise when I saw Her for myself, on the bridge I was supposed to be walking, not stumbling across. Imagine my surprise when she extended Her hand.
Author’s Note: I have lately become fascinated by folkloric accounts of The White Lady, an apparition frequently seen in France for centuries. While not all interactions with her are negative, some accounts depict her (and her dance) as an emissary to the afterlife. I also love the idea of a protagonist doomed, as many of us are, to meet his own death in both a shocking and entirely appropriate form.
When he thought they’d had enough, he turned off the wind. It was making the sleet too painful to walk through. Never let it be said he didn’t show them sympathy. But he was tired of the myth he’d been done away with everywhere, thanks to better heating systems, savvier consumers, global warming.
Still, the ice piled up. Their cars wouldn’t start, the engines frozen with it. The air, such bite, so very, very grim, his harsh reminder of their vulnerability.
He would have to remember to tell Spring to go easy on them on his way out the door.
Author’s Note: In my neck of the woods, where we’ve often been called ‘weather wimps,’ dealing with the coldest season can feel like doing battle with a physical adversary.
He had been expecting it hours ago, a rush like adrenaline, the pleasant letting go he remembered from his wasted college days. Half mad in want of it, he’d drunk half the bottle, sure it would arrive in this forbidden potion.
“There’s a rumor some kind of spirit arrives,” he said to no one. “And then she wants your soul.”
“Who says it’s a ‘she’?” came a voice from beside him. He turned, shocked by the massive giant occupying the space next to him, its skin the color of split pea. “And I already got it—after your third drink.”
Author’s Note: With the renewed interest in absinthe these days, I wonder if more people don’t want to be warned of its once notorious reputation.