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Black River

Andrea Danowski

Grace pulled on the two halves of her ponytails, tightening both. She stretched then, and the little quiver of her arms reminded Olivia of a baby bird, wings spread. They had been sitting next to the river all day, laying side-by-side in the dirt, legs hot but not yet tanned. Sometimes they would both be on their stomachs, sometimes both on their backs. Sometimes Olivia would sit up and flip over the other way so she could tickle Grace’s feet with an antennae of tall grass while she took a break from her book. She would tickle her skin until, annoyed, Grace would threaten to push Olivia in the river.

A fly buzzed around the two of them and landed on the back of Grace’s knee. Olivia noticed the way it rubbed its hands together like it was scheming.

“Bugs are so weird.”

Grace shielded her eyes from the sun as she turned to look at Olivia.

“You know what’s even weirder?”

Olivia picked a forget-me-not from the grass beside her.

“You.”

Grace swung her leg at Olivia. She caught it and traced the paths of the veins on the back of her calf with the tiny blue flower.

“There are these worms that live in icebergs. They just melt when you take them out of the ice.”

 
 
 


Andrea Danowski is an editor at Two Hawks Quarterly.