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Out of Place by Suzanne Hicks

I was born to live on land like the others before me. For a time, I did, until my legs started to curl just below my knees. It wasn’t long before they intertwined, forming a figure eight, making it impossible to traverse the ground as I once did. On the morning I woke to an unrelenting itch, I threw off the blanket to discover swaths of scales covering my body and my figure eight fused into a fin. No longer meant for land, I sought out the water where the first ones had lived. There I thrived and wondered if I had been born too late. I propelled through the water, pulling with my arms and flicking my tail. For a time, this is how I lived until my arms began to grow limp and a tremor set into my fin. Now my appendages flutter along my sides as I’m trolling along. Most days I float belly up, my vision blurred by sunlight. At night I stare up at the stars and wonder if I had been born too soon. I wonder what the ones who come after me will find in the sky. My center growing soft, I feel the pull of the leviathan that waits below.


Suzanne Hicks is a disabled writer living with multiple sclerosis. Her stories have appeared in Milk Candy Review, Atlas and Alice, Maudlin House, Roi Fainéant Press, New Flash Fiction Review, and elsewhere. Find her at and on Twitter @iamsuzannehicks.

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