She had willed him in, she knew, from where he snagged and lingered, brought him shoreward just as surely as once she had birthed a daughter from the smooth space within the roil of other banks and water. She was sorry if it gave Samantha a fright and in fact had every hope that it would be she who found him and not her daughter.

He was falling inside-out and inverse, from dark to light, from bottom to top, from death to life, from silence to the sound of stars and the sirens of the police cruisers.

Samantha had taken it well, a little frightened of course, a lot really. Deep sobs racked the drum hollow beneath her budding chest, Niobe's tears in her eyes. The world was a drum of dark water where we sometimes caught our wings like moths and fluttered until we freed ourselves and dried our wings and set off for other lights more real than this reflection. Other times, of course, we stuck there, adhered to mystery and illusion, unable to move. Sometimes we died there, wings crucified by reflected light.

In the water the reflected constellations were blue rhinestones.

Floating, her daughter would grow strong, as she had long ago before her birth.