Phoebe couldn’t judge his posture, only the splash as he entered the lake and the smaller ripples indicating that he’d surfaced for air. She got out to climb the tree again.

They jumped, one after another, over and over. Every time Phoebe hit the water it washed her worries away; they were unable to keep up with her, falling through the sky.

Image: Phoebe and Kirk are underwater. She is swimming backwards, watching as he plunges into the water from a cannonball. Large masses of cypress roots can be seen in the background. End description.

After a half-hour she took a rest against the cypress, clinging to the wet bark and watching the splash of Kirk’s next dive. But when he surfaced this time, instead of empty space, something burgundy rose from the lake.

Image: Kirk’s head and shoulders are miraculously visible above the surface of the water. He has a caecilian aspect which is reddish with an orangy-pink underside. At the front of his snout are two short tentacles. He also has light skin, some chest hair, and a few scars on his shoulders. End description.

“Kirk?” Phoebe spoke to him like he was a frightened animal. She watched his aspect bob up and down in the water, and when he swam towards her she could make out the pale skin of his shoulders. She tried not to stare- to spook him. After sharing a home with him for the past few days, this was her first time seeing his face. There was the tiniest smile on it.

She’d never seen an aspect like his before- from afar, Phoebe thought it was a snake or lizard. But when he came closer she saw that his skin was slick and that he didn’t have eyes where a reptile would. If it weren’t for his glasses–sitting safely in the aluminum boat–she’d have thought he didn’t have eyes at all.