Deep below the lake’s murky surface, there sits—intact—a house. A two-story structure of Carpenter Gothic details like elaborate wooden trim bloated to bursting. Its front yard: purple loosestrife. Its inhabitants: alligator gar, bull trout, and pupfish. All glide past languidly—out of window sashes and back inside door frames. It is serene, and it is foreboding. Curtains of algae float gossamer to and fro. Pictures rest clustered atop credenzas. A chandelier is lit, intermittently, by freshwater electric eels. And near a Victrola, white to the bone, a man and a woman dance in a floating embrace.
Mother stands frozen in my bedroom doorway… a block of stone: arms splayed, legs spread, a barrier to my exit. I cannot move her, never could; she’s as heavy as her gaze when she looked in on me. So, I am left to chip away at her, like I did before she was transformed, but literally now. I yell, ‘Stop imprisoning me!’ She doesn’t answer; she has been silenced. Her face looks shocked, accusatory, wide-eyed. My tresses flare in a fighting response—as though slithering about my head. Then, for the first time, I hear the sound of hisses.
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