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The woman slipped gold into the pond.

Her children watched. They were small and solemn children, not given to splashing or ruckus. Their eyes followed movement in the water.

The pond’s edge was roughly laid concrete with little teeth that caught the woman’s clothing when she stood up again. She dusted her hands to indicate the moment was over. Each child in turn stepped up to the edge to stare into the depths.

“It is strange to build a pond in this shape,” said the oldest. He was always wondering about the ways of things. “Aren’t most of them round?”

The woman shrugged. “Our ways aren’t all ways.”

The youngest child, as golden as the fish the woman had just released, laughed. His chubby hands darted in after the fish until his mother pulled them out. Her chastisements fell with the rhythm of the liquid dripping off his fingers…

.Short story in Sharp & Sugar Tooth, Upper Rubber Boot, slated for publication in 2019. Click for more information.

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