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Leda

I did not know it was you at first.  You tricked me in your feathered form, a fine white tuxedo and black tie, your dark shoes polished to shine on Mars.  You were a god to me but I didn’t recognize you at the lake.  You floated out of the dark, frothing virility.  You flew up choking and battering my neck and face with your rough dirtied wingspan.

You had been someone else at the party.  A god, yes, but a god who came down to earth.  Your teeth had yellowed; maybe it was the dim lighting.  Outside twilight was bleeding into night.  Your shadow on the shore of the lake was misshapen and molting.  When you approached I saw your shadow first. Earlier, you had glided from room to room, your proud serpentine neck held high, your only disguise a black and orange mask painted directly on your chiseled face.

But now my nose is forever canted to one side and I can never return to the lake. I miss the lake.  I miss me.

The water was an extraordinary blue-green, a shimmery vision of blossoming trees and swaths of bright sky.  When I dove into the water, I felt like I was diving into a liquid forest, full of sweet life.  I used to swim there naked.  Of course, that was my mistake. I should have known better at fourteen but I still viewed these budding breasts as appendages that didn’t belong to me.  And they didn’t.  They belonged to you, you hissed; your mouth once so harmless was now a beak full of sharp and infinite teeth.

 

Andrea DeAngelis is at times a poet, writer, shutterbug, and musician living in New York City. Her writing has appeared in Sententia, The Shout, 2AM Project, and elsewhere. She has just completed her first novel, Pushed. She also sings and plays guitar in the band MAKAR, who are recording their third album, Fancy Hercules.

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  1. [...] so excited that my flash fiction piece Leda was published today on Tin House’s Open Bar for their Flash Fridays post. I mean, Tin [...]

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