patrick-hendry-ZSpy2wlpLgg-unsplash (1)

AU: the night your husband proposed

You’re standing with toes far back from the edge, not prepared for a swim that night in Otsego when he sneaks up behind and throws you in from the dock, not out, but off to the side where it’s too shallow. You slice both heels on the zebra mussels, squat-swim to the dock avoiding the rest, heaving god-damn-its and what-the-fucking-hells at a person who knows all the things you hate, like wet jeans, like pranks, like any awful thing you can almost see coming. When you reach the ladder, he’s down on one knee—down but above you. From below him, you can see the deceit in his plea, its illusion of choice. He’s blocking the way, ring in hand, while you tread the depthless water and bleed.

Vic Nogay is a Pushcart- and Best Microfiction-nominated poet and writer. Her work appears in Fractured Lit, Barren Magazine, and Lost Balloon, among others. She is an Associate Poetry Editor for Identity Theory. Find her at

Submit Your Stories

Always free. Always open. Professional rates.