TITLE: Rites of Flesh
GENRE: Urban Fantasy
I wandered the streets of Houston like a dog without a home. Restlessness slithered under my skin, a snake playing hide-and-seek in my guts. I let my breath out in a hiss, fingers digging into my belly as if I thought I could catch the serpent and cast it out. Lately, I'd found it impossible to sit still for more than a few hours at a time. Only walking took the edge off. I let my feet go wherever they wanted, a moving divination which yielded answers too vague to interpret.
Tonight my feet had brought me to the miles-long asphalt path edging Braes Bayou. Cloudy with silt and algae, the bayou oozed along its cement-lined bed. Less than a foot deep now, Braes would turn into a raging river when the next hurricane hit. The city's massive pumps and extensive sewer system wouldn't prevent the bayou from overflowing its banks and inundating nearby streets.
Coming to a bridge, I rested my forearms on the railing, careful not to lean far enough to see my reflection in the water. I'd only inhabited this body for three years, and it didn't feel like mine any more than the others had. I didn't think of myself as short and pale and blonde. I didn't see a point in getting used to it, either. No telling how soon I'd have to become someone else.