by Kattail Gomeow

At midnight she rose from the koi pond.

Sly, shimmering, elusive.

She rose and droplets of water like crystal rolled from her shoulders, her face, her breasts.

Moonlight sank into her hair, dark as lakeweed, sank and was never seen again.

Her golden scales shivered as she climbed onto the paving stones, stood and moved away from the pond.

Her feet explored the sensation of the cool grass, leaving a silky wet trail.

She turned koi-dark eyes to the moon, seen clear and hard through the empty lens of air.

It would not be long. Every night he had come, bold and determined. She knew he would come tonight. She waited in the haven of a shadow.

For all his size and clumsy gait, he was silent, stealing into the garden as though master of it. Straight for the pond he made.

He hunched at the side of it, nimble hands ready, nose twitching. Greed was in his small black eyes set in his bandit's mask as he followed the swirl of the koi laid before him like a feast.

She threw herself at him. Bubbles flew from her mouth bearing no sound, but her fury was force enough.

She darted away from his claws and seized his bushy tail. Holding fast, she whirled tightly around and sent the raccoon sailing over grass, over hedge and far away. He would never return to dine there again.

Golden, red, white and black, the koi welcomed their goddess home. Her feet touched water, slid into water, melted into water, and she took her place to rejoin the multi-colored dance.

Not far away, a large orange tabby paused on his way to the pond, considered the trajectory of the raccoon, and decided to seek his dinner elsewhere.

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© Christy Marx
8 March 2002