The Kappa Comes by Jennifer Ruth Jackson

Cherry blossom snowflakes
Breeze into the lake
Children splash-play
Creating false spring rain

He swims below surface
Hearing their giggles
Blue-green scales beneath
Gray get close

Oily fish scent sticks to
Their throats
Stills running feet
Wrinkles their noses
He leaps out, webbed
Hands like oars, smiling
With broken-stair teeth
Horror fairytale true

The children, trembling
Bow low

Jennifer Ruth Jackson’s work has appeared in Strange Horizons, Liquid Imagination, and more. She, her husband, and her houseplant live in an apartment in Wisconsin where (two out of three) play video games. Jennifer has yet to beat her plant in any gaming session.

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