Linda J. Palmero

The lake possessed a bizarre calm. October winds arranged discarded leaves in lily pad shapes on the glassine surface. Leaves moved. Water responded in silence.

She slipped into the icy depths as easily as one would slip on a satin lined coat. The cold became a pleasant weight, pulling her downward into its bosom.

Thoughts began to play themselves like reels of celluloid across the screen of her mind. This was not like the clich├ęs she had heard about, a whole life past, flashing in front of her. No, it was different. She found herself looking forward in time, seeing a future that would not include her. She pictured birthdays and Christmases and Easters her family would spend without her. She saw the birth of two siblings, a brother and sister, chubby toddlers playing with pull-along ducks in the front yard of her river-stone house.

The water did not hurt as it crept up her nostrils, into her lungs. She remembered how it felt diving backwards into the public pool, chlorine stinging the back of her throat. This was like inhaling pure oxygen.

Opalescent scales began to form over her body, glinting rainbows dancing in the depths. Limbs fused into sleek lengths of swimming muscle. Slowly, she began to feel gills growing behind her ears.


“I am currently enrolled in Creative Writing courses at Phoenix College. I have been employed as a Registered Nurse for the last 16 years. I live in Arizona with my husband, cat, and other dear people. I plan to leave Nursing in the near future in order to teach English as a second language.” Linda can be reached at Authorrose[at]

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