Too Many Perfect Teeth by Laila Amado
She spends her weeks in the cubicle, passing documents up and down the food chain. Men in suits roll past her like waves in the ocean, white smiles gleaming titanium and porcelain. They speak, but their words merge and dissolve in the white noise of the office. All she can hear is the whir of coffee machines. The noise is relentless, the swish and the rustle, water scraping over sand—the prehistoric depths of Tethys still teeming with Mesozoic life.
She claims a headache, excuses herself from work, drives towards the beach. Leaving her shoes at the border of the parking lot, she crawls forward, pale skin slithering off on the gravel. Fins unfurl from her back, trembling in anticipation. She slides through the littoral zone on her belly, turbid clouds of muck boiling in her wake.
Down below, the water is indigo blue, deeper and darker with every layer. She allows herself to sink. Nothing will follow her. Nothing but the lights of anglerfish and the needle-sharp teeth of their mouths.
Laila Amado writes in her second language, lives in her fourth country, and cooks decent paella. Her stories have appeared in Daily Science Fiction, Rejection Letters, Milk Candy Review, Porcupine Literary, and other publications. In her free time, she can be found staring at the Mediterranean Sea. Occasionally, the sea stares back. Follow her on Twitter at @onbonbon7