Kneeling on the crackling wood of the pier, I lean towards the surface of the water as close as I dare without touching the surface. I squint, peering into the murky waters, a blackened ancient mirror. My water horse is calling me again, in bawdy rhymes from long forgotten times, hinting cheekily at what he’d do to me once he gets his paws on me. I always had a soft spot for erudite, obscene men.
I never told my husband about this pull that makes me wake up at night, and stand naked at the edge of water, challenging for him to come out and fetch me, yet not daring to touch. I still dread the water horses’ kiss, the touch of his marble-cold lips on my own, the knocking out of air and lungs from my longing chest.
But me and my husband, we don’t talk much these days: only grocery lists, scheduling dentists appointments, and the yearly car maintenance. I surely don’t tell him about the corridors of the castle I walk in my head, about the days when I’m a maid at the discretion of a sadistic laird, while I’m actually the hidden daughter of a murdered Earl. I don’t tell him about being more and more lost within these stories since I lost something else (my job). I don’t tell him that there is so little left for me to pull me out of my own version of the universe.
I certainly never told him about the water horse. I haven’t, and I won’t, but one of these days I’ll shed all my clothes and step into the water, and scour the lake for his much anticipated presence, and let him pull me to the bottom of his underwater world.
Sophie van Llewyn lives in Germany. Her prose has been published in Ambit, New Delta Review, Banshee, New South Journal etc. Sophie is currently the Resident Flash Fiction Writer at TSS Publishing. Her novella-in-flash, ‘Bottled Goods,’ is available from Fairlight Books, here. Twitter: @Sophie_van_L
Image: Karolina Szczur