When Michael Turns Fish by Francine Witte
Editorial intern Brandon Hanson on today's bonus story: This story is as sweet as it is strange. This fishy tale will hook you in the heart.
When Michael Turns Fish
he doesn’t understand. He is clueless in the conference room, fiddling with his slide presentation. His brain flipping and flapping in the waterless air.
As his skin scales over, he is thinking of Margaret, his wife. How she will never accept him as fish and might just run off with Gustav, her guitar instructor, who after one whole year has only taught her three chords.
As his arms tuck in and he is left with fins, he drops the projector remote, and no one even offers to pick it up.
And he doesn’t mind for himself, but more for Celeste, who might not enjoy that he has no arms, no hands and can no longer hold her for long, stroke-y hours on motel Thursdays.
His legs are gone, and there goes his hair. His nose juts forward, and his eyes are on either side of his face. He can clearly see Celeste playing footsie with Clark from Legal.
And it’s just as well when he tries to speak but his mouth just opens and closes and opens and closes and nothing comes out, because what does he really have left to say?
And is that Gregor, the summer intern who went on and on about wanting a job exactly like Michael’s? Is he really standing over there in the corner right now wriggling a worm onto a hook?
Francine Witte is the author of two flash fiction chapbooks and four poetry chapbooks. She is a photographer, reviewer, and blogger. She is a former high school teacher and lives in NYC.