She was in a middling sized valley sitting on the bank of a river that was really more of a trickling stream. The sun bounced rays with abandon, off of amber lenses and scabby knees.

“I’m so pale,” she murmured. “I’m porcelain.”

She took off her glasses and squinted at the white hot sky, vaguely wondering if it was already on its way.

She looked back down at her naked self, dusted a palm down a long white leg. Fine fissures appeared, running from ankle to calf. She beamed at the trees. “I’m coming undone,” she told them proudly. The breeze blew, scooped up a leaf on a lazy draft and kissed her rounded cheek with its edges.

The tiny lips of flesh that were peeling back seeped a golden incandescence that drew glyphs on her body that she couldn’t decipher. It was a tale from a time before words were needed to tell a story; what leaked from her now was pure, and it was ecstasy.

The fissures played a merry game of chase across the expanse of nerve endings that had been her skin, was still her skin, but cracking open and sloughing off to the ground around her. She was a hatchling, her body the egg broken out of, useful but no longer necessary.

Something was staying behind to shape itself into a new figure altogether. Maybe this one will have wings, she laughed. The noise dripped into the air like liquid, stretched out and elongated, a melted candlewax of sound.

She slid, glided and schmoozed her way toward the water, a whirling dervish not quite in control of her dervish. Idly she wondered what life might be like as water nymph.


The soundtrack to this short story is Skrillex, because nothing is more life affirming than music that makes you want to move.

There was a moment of inspiration in the comments section of a favorite blog yesterday. The author isn’t having the best of times at the moment, and the commenter left a really thoughtful and insightful comment that ended with the question: “What color are your wings?” For some reason it really stuck with me.

I got to pick the Master Class prompt line this week, as I obviously bribed the teacher or she’s just a silly bugger, so I went with Clive Barker’s The Great and Secret Show: She took off her glasses and squinted at the white hot sky, vaguely wondering if it was already on its way. The prompt had to be used in the middle of the story this week, which was tricky but worked okay for me because my paragraphs are short as shit.

If there is anybody who happens to read this that isn’t already playing and wanted to jump in on the Master Class game, it really is a blast. Each week a different line from a different place in a different novel is picked by a different person to use in a different way. Just go check out SAM at, we would love to have you.

Categories: Fiction | Tags: , , , | 13 Comments

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13 thoughts on “Fissures

  1. lol, that last paragraph had a serious overuse of the word “different” but I like the way the sentence streams along. And FTR, I was neither bribed nor am I a silly bugger, though I will admit to silly moments, choosing your piece was not one of them. 😉

    As for this one, I love the way you left us wondering til the end what she was becoming. As always your visuals are spot on.

    • Ha, I just really wanted to drive home that it’s something different every week 😉 Thank you for the love; I saw this one so clearly I’m gonna try to draw it this weekend…

  2. I love reading metamorphosis scenes and I gotta say you nailed this one, Potts. The joy your character feels is tangible. Very well done.

    • Thank you very much 🙂 I really tried to put myself in the story, where would I want to be and how would I want to feel if I was shaking off the old skin. I’m really glad it came through.

  3. It was a very dreamlike piece, as if she was under the influence of something 🙂

  4. I’d like to slip out of my skin and morph into something new if it felt this good. A lovely evocation of a welcome change and the joy of being alive. I love it. (I also love your response to Carrie. :))

    • The joy of being alive, yes 😉 even tired or cranky or just really f-in miserable, every second is a chance to see something worthwhile. And I STILL don’t know what you’re talking about…

  5. Pingback: Master Class 2013: Man & Cat | My Write Side

  6. David Wiley

    Now I’m left wondering what it would be like to be a water nymph. Can I grow wings for my next transformation? Breathing fire could be optional…

    • You can absolutely grow wings, you even get to pick the color 🙂 I totally get the back off social media break, but HI DAVID!!! It’s so nice to ‘see’ you again, truly!

  7. Pingback: Master Class 2013: Man & Cat - Our Write Side

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