Painted Grassy Mire by Nicasio Andres Reed

This is the next short story in the Event Horizon 2017 collection of short stories highlighting authors who are eligible for the 2017 Campbell award for best new writer.

Published: 2016 in Shimmer Magazine (you can read it free online at that link – check it out. It has some lovely illustrations to go along with the story)

Genre: fantasy short story

Setting: near Lake Borgne, Louisiana, present day

Summary: Short version: A girl finds her alligator selkie family

Long version: Winnie has spent her life on the water in Louisiana, helping her father with the fishing. One day, she notices a big alligator nest and is drawn to it. It’s guarded by a couple of alligators, though, and she can’t figure out what to offer them to gain entrance. One night, a hurricane comes to the area and as the house blows down around her and her father, she turns into an alligator.

Final thoughts: Interesting setting and characters (the Louisiana bayou with a group of Filipinos), but not much to the story. The big twist is we have alligator selkies instead of seal selkies. The main character eventually turns into an alligator herself, which is when she realizes her mother was an alligator as well. There are clues sprinkled throughout the story that point in that direction and become clear once you read the big reveal.

Title comes from: Not really sure since the phrase is never used in the story itself. I’m going to guess it refers to the alligator nest that Winnie finds.

 

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