Flash Fiction: Magician River (231 words)

We didn’t float down the river. We forgot to.

The summer sun had been making its arguments all day, convincing the air to take up space, convincing it to hang heavy and make us swim in it, slowly convincing us that if we were going wade around, we might as well cool our toes at the same time.

We stripped off our boots and socks and stepped off the bank into the neat silt. When that wasn’t enough, we stripped out of shirts, breeches, and tossed ourselves into the middle of the river. We dunked ourselves under, threw waves at the idiot beside us, laughed as if we were inventing it. We rushed at the cool water until it swallowed the sticky heat that we had been trying to lose since we crawled out of bed that morning.

Then we laid back, shut our eyes, and oh, we didn’t float.

We got lost. The water pressed in against our skin, holding us as only sweet water knows how. Calmly. Deliberately. Unknowing of gravity, or how it might loosen its grip to drop us. We shut our eyes, trusting what was utterly trustworthy even as it stopped up our ears and hummed its thrumming, improvised songs into the bones of our ears.

Half an hour, an hour, two hours later, we open our eyes again, finding ourselves snapped to somewhere else, transported.


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