Drabble 51 – Pallescent

I had this weird idea when I was a kid that after I fell asleep at night, I’d go out and have wild and crazy adventures as an entirely different person. It’s probably because I read one of those kid-friendly adaptations of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, but I distinctly remember fantasizing that I was a witch, complete with pointy hat and broomstick, swearing that I’d remember the night’s adventures this time.

As an adult, I have a suspicion that I wasn’t actually doing anything more exciting than dreaming. I don’t think that the desire for a secret double life is all that uncommon; aside from daydreaming about being a secret witch, I imagined or made believe that I was somehow related to all kinds of other fantasy beings. Fairies, werewolves, wizards, vampires, gods–anything that wasn’t a boring old human.

Unfortunately, I am a boring old human. Writing is kind of a way to get around that, I suppose, and less people look at you funny if pretending is written down rather than acted out.

Anyway, here’s a drabble.


(Noun: Latin pallēre for “to grow or become pale”)

To grow or become pale.

Branwen perches on her haunches, drawing a stick through the surf. She often sits out here for hours and comes home, face streaked with salt spray, barnacle cuts on her feet and ankles. Her father says nothing. He knows what she’s looking for.

Sometimes Branwen dips her legs in to the knees, clenching her jaw to keep her teeth from chattering. She imagines the skin there prickling, collecting into scales and binding together to form a tail.

Sometimes she imagines a face beneath the waves, a face something like hers, but pale, with sharp, wicked teeth and bulging dark eyes.


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