Phoebe inhaled sharply and shoved the boat out onto the lake. She struggled to catch it, chasing it deeper before clambering on. It rocked so violently that she was worried it would capsize, but as she righted herself the boat relaxed to a halt.

Trying to remember what Julia had done, she swerved through the water, barely missing trees that jumped out at her in the darkness. When she reached the island with the tilted cypress, she managed to slow the boat down enough to avoid running aground completely.

Image: Phoebe sits in the boat as it zooms through the water. She’s sitting awkwardly, straddling part of the seating with both of her hands gripping one side. The boat is tilting slightly and water is splashing up around it. End description.

It skidded against the dirt, and the motor protested until Phoebe turned it off. She rested against the rim and rubbed her eyes before stumbling out. Removing her shirt revealed a raised scar, looking two-years healed and white even though it was only a few days old. She tossed the shirt down onto the wet floor of the boat, then picked up the rope and the knife. Phoebe tied one end of the rope around a thick cypress trunk. After she’d pulled it so tight that a few hard yanks would rather leave burns on her hands than undo the knot, she knelt down into the muck and brought the knife to her chest.

Image: Phoebe is kneeling on the ground. She is topless and facing the viewer, with both of her hands on the knife, pointing it towards her body. She is looking down at it with a determined expression. The lake and starry sky are visible behind her. End description.

Nothing happened when she pressed the knife-tip against her scar- the entrance to an impossible space, the cavity in her torso as unwelcome as a cavity in her teeth. She dragged it across her skin far too lightly to leave even scratches. Harder, and still nothing. No doubt the knife was sharp, but her skin felt like iron when she was trying to cut it herself. Phoebe pulled the knife back and then thrust it towards her in hopes that speed and force would do the trick, but her hands faltered at the last moment, leaving her with nothing but a series of paltry marks.



Othercon has been a lot of fun so far! Though it's hard to fully relax because my comprehensive exam is next week lol