Stories No. 18 – Judy Hall

by Judy Hall

At night, my house slips noisily underwater.

Moonbeams pound through the cracks, clefts, and crevices of the house.

My memories are waterfalls, jagged with fears and guilt; the fear of having to escape Daddy; the guilt from the suicide of a friend who needed my love long ago and the fear for another who needs it still; fear of the light of day showing my scars – scars from Daddy which cross my body, scars from guilt which cross my soul, scars from my nightly transformation into the fish I become, swimming through this house tirelessly, as if I could escape. But my fate is to swim round this bowl, unable to turn the current or shut my eyes for to stop is to die and I am not ready to die, though I long for rest. I long for it.

I gaze at my children as I swim round them – they are unaware of my wanderings unless they wake and wonder where I’ve gone, their ever-tired mother, but their somnolence leads them back to their dry beds and dreams of adventure. I whisper safety into their ears.

I contemplate my lover, who never stirs. I am fascinated – those without fear and guilt may sleep – but his dreams are unfathomable to me. I long for him but we are a different species. I whisper love into his ear.

Then, just as it does for the itsy bitsy spider, the sun dries up all that remains. I wake from my sleepless night, woman again, and look toward the day. The dry, dry day.


Judy Hall is a writer living in Montclair, NJ. She has an MFA from William Paterson. She’s been published in Linguistic Erosion, Eunoia Review, Literary Orphans and elsewhere. She’s currently writing a novel about a mother raising her bipolar child, based on her own experiences. Her other work can be viewed at:

November 5, 2014
Photo by: Gessy Alvarez

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