The girls ran in and out of months. In and out of October, November and December until January frosted their feet with champagne and firecrackers burned their elbows purple.
Their flank muscles hardened and softened. Their brows filled with wine crystal sweat and in their mouths they held the salty tang of lemon and olives.
On the forested path through February and March, the spring rain melted the snow until the snow was nothing but water, until the water was puddles, the puddles were rivers, rivers that sound like harps, harps that called them new names that weren’t names at all but rather nouns. Fish. Guppy. Fin.
One girl bent down to slosh water into her open mouth, red and worried. This had been such a hard life for her. Such a very hard time. It would be good now to be in the water.
The second girl stepped bare arches onto stones, felt cold in the navicular bones of her feet. She wasn’t the thinking type. She placed herself gently into the water and felt only cold. Not baptismal at all, but yes, something transformative. They both looked to one another, wanting to remember each other as they were now.
April showered and showered and the currents thickened like a Scandinavian ocean. Like unfamiliar water. Like black sand beaches where glaciers melted and released all the women and men who had fallen into wintry chasms such a long time ago.
The girls crouched forward and dove under the cold water, feeling the lemon taste of their mouth bob up and out, floating to the surface. The tastes their tongues tasted would also be left here on this shore.
They swam together again. Swam quickly. Their arms turned to fat red muscle and they pulled themselves into the dark undercurrent. Deep. Deeper now. Way down. Became bottom feeders. The quiet happy kind that are hard to see.
Alexis David has an MFA in fiction from New England College. Entry number 45 on her google doc bucket list is "punch someone in the face." This is a bad idea, so she tries to write flash fiction in a way that feels like punching someone in the face.