SOMEHOW DIFFERENT

By Miriam H. Harrison

Content Warnings: None.

They met at the pond. There, in the light of the full moon, Anna looked into the water and saw herself, somehow different. A trick of the light, she thought. But try as she might, she could not understand the change, subtle yet certain.


     so strange she said aloud

     to see myself

     not quite myself

     I feel 

     something uncanny waits


     something uncanny waits her reflection confirmed

     I feel

     not quite myself

     to see myself

     so strange


Had her reflection truly spoken? Anna doubted herself. All around her, the night was silent. Yet in the water, her reflection studied her. She saw her confusion reflected there in the moonlight – much the same, yet different. She had heard before of witchcraft and trickery in the light of the full moon. She had also heard of lunacy. But which frightened her more: magic or madness? 


     as tricksters she said

     the moonlight and water

     confuse me, cast

     spells of uncertainty

     perhaps


Her reflection pondered.


     perhaps it said

     spells of uncertainty 

     confuse me, cast

     the moonlight and water

     as tricksters


They considered each other, considered possibilities. It was strange for Anna to think that some other self lived there in the moonlit pond. Stranger still to think that – to her reflection – she was a mystery to be solved.


     am I strange? she asked

     I wonder

     I look at you

     in the water

     while I am here

     on land

     to me, you are

     strange

     strange her reflection said

     to me, you are

     on land

     while I am here

     in the water

     I look at you 

     I wonder

     am I strange?


Anna realised how little she knew. She had never questioned the inevitability of her life on land. She had dreamed so many dreams, but always with her feet set firmly on the ground. She had never stopped to wonder if there was more to dream, elsewhere.


     I wish I knew what it is like she said

     living there, in your world

     I wonder how it feels to be always

     in water

     no longer spending all my days

     on land

     imagine what else waits

     where you are

     I wish I could be there

The eyes of her reflection gazed back, bright and earnest.


     I wish I could be there that self replied

     where you are

     imagine what else waits

     on land

     no longer spending all my days

     in water

     I wonder how it feels to be always

     living there, in your world

     I wish I knew what it is like


When at last the moon set, she left, not quite as she came. There was no more strangeness around her. The path twisted in its usual curves around the trees and rocks. Everything around her was as it had ever been. Only she seemed out of place. The same, yet somehow different.

Miriam H. Harrison

Writing from the boreal forests and abandoned mines of Northern Ontario, Miriam H. Harrison writes poetry and short fiction that vary between the eerie, the dreary, and the cheery. She is a member of the Horror Writers Association and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association.
http://Miriamhharrison.wordpress.com