Thursday, October 19, 2023

“It’s In His Kiss” • by C. L. Sidell

Lewis stands near the pond, despondent.


What could it hurt?

Reaching down, he catches the greenish-brown frog by his toes and kisses it. Pale cheeks flush crimson. “You idiot!” He tosses his not-fairytale prince into the water, the offended creature disappearing (lickety-split!) beneath the murky surface.


The dense bed of lily pads at the center of the pond undulates, then shifts. An impossibly-large amphibian rises among them, clearing several inches above the waterline. Bulbous eyes target Lewis, who freezes in disbelief.




A bubblegum-pink tongue whips out, lassoing Lewis’ throat.

What, prey-love, is this? 

Swept off his feet, Lewis flies right toward the creature’s mouth—G-U-U-U-L-P!—and vanishes in a heartbeat. 


The satiated amphibian blinks once, then twice, before returning to its watery haunt.

Later, passersby strolling by the pond spy a lone sandal bathed in the noontime sunlight. A greenish-brown frog squats beside it. 


Catching flies. 


And patiently waiting for another desperate soul to try their hand at kissing it. 


A native Floridian, C. L. Sidell grew up playing with toads in the rain and indulging in speculative fiction. A Pushcart Nominee, Best of the Net Nominee, and Rhysling Finalist, her work appears in 34 Orchard, Apparition Lit, The Cosmic Background, F&SF, Factor Four Magazine, Impossible Worlds, Weird Christmas, and others. You can find her on various social media platforms @sidellwrites


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Made in DNA said...

"Well, that escalated quickly."