‘Luca’, short fiction.
Luca truly believed her playground witchcraft was for real. But then when she moved out of home at age sixteen, after her father’s disappearance, all the magic in her fingertips seemed to slip away. Now the same age as her father when he disappeared, her father begins showing his face in her photography, swimming impossibly into focus in the chemical baths in her darkroom.
“The subject, (its lips, its obsessions), was becoming lost in the fog. It was drifting down from the high hull of the ship into the blur. The subject was asleep, it had been pushed out of bed by hands ripped with fish scales. And it was still sleeping on its way down to break the surface of an ice-ridden sea it had never visited. The ship would push out from the harbour’s nestle, far away, south, and out to the open sea. The subject would break the ice and then the sea, and not awaken until it was far beneath the waves. Its words would be distorted by depth and suffer the bends as they fell heavier. They would lose their meaning on ears that heard only the sounds of obscurity and distance. They would never surface.”