Julia didn’t have time to finish. Silver had Phoebe cornered, chattering at her from a sturdier length of trunk, waiting for her to come back down to him. But while he had been born to climb, she had been born to jump. She did what she’d done dozens of times before and launched herself over the edge. A loud crack followed, and he was too slow to retreat when part of the cypress snapped and fell with her.

Image: The first half of a split image. Silver is falling through the air along with a large piece of the trunk and some smaller branches. His position is awkward, with his back to the water and his arms and legs flailing up. End Description.

Image: The second half of a split image. Phoebe is diving into the lake. She’s streamlined, with her feet pointing down and her arms stretched above her head. The coloring style of the image is different above and below the water. The water is black, and as Phoebe enters it, she turns white. The only color is her red blood, which mixes with the water. End Description.

She plunged into the lake. Before she could orient herself, she felt a pair of hands grab her shoulders. Instinctively she attempted to jerk away before realizing the grip was Julia’s, who yanked her to the side as Silver and the trunk crashed through the water.

Both of them surfaced. Phoebe cursed as she paddled over to Julia’s boat, which rocked side-to-side with the sudden waves. Julia was talking to her but she couldn’t hear; her ears felt like they were full of swamp.

“Where is he?” She asked.

“I can't- What?” Julia answered before realizing that Silver was nowhere to be seen.

They dunked their heads under the surface. He was barely visible in the darkness. A trail of bubbles escaped his mouth as he sank lower and lower. No amount of struggling was bringing him closer to air. His choked, garbled cries filled the lake.

“I should’ve fucking brought Yuli.” She grumbled and dove again.

Phoebe stayed, floating. She felt her blood leaking out and mixing with the warm water which lapped at her fur.



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