Upon Discovering that Cows Can Swim
You’re on a boat on Lake Nicaragua. A tour. Your reflection in the water is murky, like a shadowy chartreuse twin staring up from beneath the surface. You want to touch her, your twin, but you don’t. You’re always refraining. That’s when you hear their breathing, and you’re not the only one. Others on the boat have spotted the cows grazing on floating foliage. You look up to see another cow swimming down the creek. She looks majestic, graceful, her horns sharp and glistening. You want to fashion a wreath from wildflowers and crown her. The captain conducting the tour says cows are his favourite animal and he rubs his stomach. You spy the stomach hanging from beneath his t-shirt, that reddish-pink of flesh peeping from polyester. There’s nothing friendly about this. The others laugh at his jokes while you contemplate veganism. The swimming cow rests with the others and grazes. You watch, knowing this is the most unusual thing you’ll see on this trip. When you have signal on your phone, you’ll google to check if cows can swim because you need to know if something this marvellous is real. Because you need to know that something so marvellous can be real.
Santino Prinzi is the Co-Director of National Flash Fiction Day in the UK and the Senior Editor for New Flash Fiction Review. His debut flash fiction collection, Dots and other flashes of perception, was published by The Nottingham Review Press, and his flash pamphlet, There’s Something Macrocosmic About All of This, is forthcoming from V-Press. To find out more follow him on Twitter (@tinoprinzi) or visit his website: https://tinoprinzi.wordpress.com
(Next: The Attempted Kindness of Well-Meaning Strangers by Dan Nielsen)
(Previous: Jokes and Lies by Anne Summerfield)
Feel like submitting? Check out our submission guidelines
Special Issue Call for Submissions: Stories for Dead People
Image (modified): pxhere CC0