One reached down to the other, both broken and twisted
But this was before the waters came
Atop a roof they shouted
Over the storm
Pulling one another to new heights, escaping
But each time they learned something new
So that when the monsters came, these new terrors were nothing new to them
Each jammed their fingers into mud
Mud rising to the tops of roofs
Rising to their waists, to their necks
The sisters pulled out limbs and slime
And the monsters stalled, they watched
They reached out and curled themselves around the women’s filth
And left it there
Disappearing underneath the torrent, the sisters drown, monsters blooming like oil
Underneath their bodies
Everyone forgot about the sisters
But no one will forget their limbs, still alive
Still searching in the dark,
Open maws, still hungry
She called the rains from above—a storm, vicious and black and angry that drowned the world in a breath. The chaos she’d created eddied around her as she watched from the roof of her house. The water rose, the detritus of her former life carried away in the surge. She dipped her fingers into the muck as it rose to the shingles, the coolness of it creeping up her skin in little pin pricks.
She wasn’t the only one there. Movement danced just below the surface, something sentient and irritated. Something huge and everywhere, with long arms that stretched out like ink.
Her monsters erupted from the depths, buoyant in the flood. She waved them away. Whatever was left, they would consume. Whatever was left would forever be hers.
The flood that washed the world away, brought monsters with it. Clinging to scraps, wreckage, memories, a few survived—stealing rain when it came, gutting fish with sharp ends, drinking blood of the birds that dove to close. Until the birds were gone.
Glass seas were black and cloudy, hiding their monsters under milk. They would light their angler ends and wait for prey so silly and desperate and lonely to touch anything, even extinction.
The few put noses to water, skin blistered and red from the salt sun. Sound drained—not even a ripple.
And then they fell, welcomed the glass, let it flay what remained of them, sinking.
Into the many-armed beast that shadowed the sea floor, awaiting patiently their arrival. Curling them in limb and slime, tucking them towards their dark chest, clutched until the water receded
So the few could walk towards the shade.
Tiffany Meuret is a writer and desert-dweller from Phoenix, Arizona. Her work can be found or is forthcoming in Four Chambers Press, Eunoia Review, MoonPark Review, Martian, and others. Find her online at www.TiffanyMeuret.com or on Twitter @TMeuretBooks.