By Stephanie Parent

Salt thickened her blood; the ocean filled her veins. Whenever her skin broke open, the wound stung from the inside out. Briny crystals lingered on her tongue, pooled at the corners of her eyes. She didn’t belong with thin-blooded, dry-eyed humans. The ocean pulled her, a hook stabbing her tender belly. She was a fish on a line, drawn toward water rather than land. The waves would welcome her, recognize the salt inside her and alchemize her lungs.

When the salt water stopped up her throat and her body gasped for oxygen, the betrayal was its own kind of death.

Stephanie Parent is a lifelong lover of fairy tales and folklore. She now writes fairy-tale inspired fiction and poetry, and her poetry has been nominated for a Rhysling Award and Best of the Net.

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