The Lake


By Jo Varnish

Lakes keep secrets, she once said, you’ll feel them on a winter’s morning when it’s just you, the wind rippling the water’s skin, and the quiet melody of the birdsong …

My breath a ghostly mist, I stand on the dock, watching young versions of myself jumping in, splashing, shouting. Red swim shorts, tanned skin, slippery from sunscreen. And her… wet bangs stuck flat to her grinning face, thick braid down her back. Her Mom’s PBJs for lunch.

The lake, protected by the tall naked trees slashing at the white sky, remains stoic.

I’ll never know what happened to her.

Having moved from her native England aged 24, Jo now lives in Maplewood, New Jersey. Her work (short stories, interviews, reviews) has recently appeared in The Bangalore Review, Necessary Fiction, [PANK] and Funny Pearls. Last year, Jo was a writer in residence at L’Atelier Writers in France. Currently she is studying for her MFA and working on a novel.

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