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The River in Her

The lobbyist said her cleavage was the best example of bipartisanship he’d ever seen. He pulled the skin between his lips like a milkshake through a straw until a blue vein surfaced. It was small at first, the length of a zebrafish, but she couldn’t see past it. The vein crossed out the words she read and wormed its way into her ramen. She tried to snuff it out with her thumbnail, but the vein grew longer and deeper until she could dip her whole hand into its river, followed by her arm, her head, herself.

By morning the waterline had risen behind her eyes so the only way she could move through the day was by floating along beside him. See, he said, you tried to resist me and my issues, but we’re great together. She flowed from bed to train to café to work and back again. When the lobbyist spoke, the water rushed between her ears and garbled his voice so it was easiest to let him do everything he asked of her.

She went on this way for weeks, wading in her body, the motion eroding her cells. With every step she made herself deeper and broader and colder, until he said he couldn’t touch bottom anymore or make it to shore. He said she had to save him. She said she would, so she picked him up. Then she carried him to the falls of herself and let go.

Flash Fiction by Jenn Hollmeyer
Picture: Earth by Moyan Brenn under CC BY 2.0
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Published in Spring 2017


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