She pressed a finger to her lips, hoping. That had worked
before, though never in the water.
Nothing worked in the water.
She escaped it once, pushed up by an invisible hand. Up
and away from her sister, wide-eyed and lifeless. They had
been as one then: funny and fast,even against the current.
"Them girls swim like catfish. Crazy-like," folks had said.
But not now. Now she didn't swim at all.
She didn't speak either. Not since that day. But now,
waist-deep, something tickled in her throat. Surprised
by the sound of her voice, she tried to swallow it down,
but not soon enough.
The words, the memory, took her breath. She was ten again;
flat-footed and freckled, up from the bottom just long enough
to catch her breath.
"Deeper," her sister had dared when they reached the rocks,
where the feet slid from beneath them and the water went
Seconds later, hungry for more, she'd given a dare of her own:
The last time, she'd hesitated to meet the demand.This time, she went gladly, humming to the tune of sirens as the
water closed over her head like an unclosed door.