the magnificent transmogrification
by Jessica Amanda Salmonson
"It's true," said Miriam. "I can turn into a lake."
Those at the party began to snicker. Billy, who did not like to make fun of people, but also did not
like to be treated as a gullible fool, politely inquired, "Dear Miriam, have you turned into a lake previously?"
"Many times," she replied, "when I was little. When my father and I went on vacations to a mountain in the
east, I would turn into a lake for him, and he would go fishing in my depths."
The partiers hooted with laughter.
"You mean to say," said Billy, "that when you turned into a lake, there were fishes inside you?"
"Where do they come from? Are they edible if someone fries them in a pan?"
"I have eaten some myself, after my father was done fishing and I returned to my usual form."
Now everyone in the room was pointing at Miriam and screaming their guffaws, calling her a loony bird and a
fruitcake. Billy was the only one not laughing. She said to Billy in a low, queer voice, "Would you like to see
me do it?" "It would be interesting," he said. So Miriam turned into a lake. The house turned into a rowboat.
Billy was in the rowboat. He went fishing for his friends.
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Jessica Amanda Salmonson
is a writer of breathtaking power and imaginative scope, and an editor of
wide-ranging taste. She lives in Bremerton, Washington, where she tends her
garden and presides over the amazing online antiquarian bookstore,