Cover Photo: Sebastian Voortman
Sebastian Voortman


Is this what it means to be human? she wonders. The pain of being alive. 

She'd dreamt of walking on land, of a life different from the one she led. Had sacrificed everything—her golden larynx, her home—to see the world anew. And for what? She has yet to know even the warmth of the sun.

Summoning the last of her reserves, she drags herself to the edge and tumbles in, managing to rest on her back, her limbs drifting in slow, swooping arcs to stay afloat. She goes on like this, ignoring how long it will take before she slips into exhaustion, before her legs give out. She only looks to the stars, imagining what they look like up close. Each one a new world to visit. A new life to live.

Work can be found in Burnt Pine Magazine and Ellipsis Zine: One.