I didn’t tell Seth that I knew what the shadows were beneath the waves. I didn’t think we were good enough friends for him to follow me under. I was wrong until I got caught in a strong current; Seth got smaller and smaller. I was more worried about the turbine waiting for me at the other side of the pipe, if it would chop me up as it churned me around and around. I had about 30 minutes of air left. I hoped it would be enough time.

When the nuclear power plant worker found me sitting on the side of the reservoir, he asked how I got here. “By accident,” I said. I stared into the distance, implied trauma so he wouldn’t ask any more questions. I couldn’t wait until the next morning to check my neck for gills, if my skin could stop a knife, or whether I could finally catch a bullet between my teeth. 

J. Bradley is the author of the linked short story collection The Adventures of Jesus Christ, Boy Detective (Pelekinesis, 2016) and lives at jbradleywrites.com.