Bobby’s front door slammed shut in the wake of my frenzied escape, a sharp crack disrupting that quiet July morning. Not caring if anyone saw me, I stumbled to a stop on the front walk, covered my face with my hands and breathed in deeply, trying to quiet the pounding in my head.

What the hell had I just seen?

In all respects, I’m thankful that to this day only distorted, fragmentary half-images remain of what I saw flopping in that water-filled bathtub. Those fingers, fish-belly white and slimy, had sprouted from a hand and arm of the same color. It had reached up from a body the same as it. Huge, bulging and reptilian-fish eyes had glared unblinkingly from beneath the water, and . . . and . . .


Several rows of them, slits on either side of that . . . thing’s neck, from its ears to its collarbone. Gills, puckering in white skin, pink around the edges, fluttering open and shut in rhythmic pulses, bubbling . . . breathing underwater.

Thankfully I remembered no more
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