The Duck

by Charlie Nash

It had been three years since I fled the disease of mankind and jumped into the local lake.

I had remained ever since.

It was a simpler life as a duck. Pecking around for food under the water. And all the free duck love you could ask for.

So nice a life, it was, that I'd only just started to become discontent with my time in the water.

Like most stories, it started when I met her.

She came by the lake every afternoon to feed me bread.

Sometimes it was white bread, sometimes brown. Ocassionally she would bring sourdough rolls.

But the bread wasn't important. What mattered was her.

A beautiful woman with dark brown hair, and the biggest smile I had ever seen-- her presence at the lake was a ritual I anticipated daily.

But what could I do? How could an old duck profess his love for the most beautiful woman in town?

I was older now, and if I decided to turn back into a human, I doubt I would ever have the energy to morph into a duck again.

If I were to chase the woman of my dreams, I would have to leave my cosy duck life and return to the putrid halls of humankind.

Was she worth it? Undoubtedly so. But what if she rejected my advances? What if it all turned out to be for nothing?

I guess it was a risk worth taking.

On the 64th day, she came to feed me bread. As she did every other day.

I quacked at her, and she giggled.

Now was my chance.

I morphed back into my human form, and climbed out of the lake.

"My lady! My lady! Every day you have come to feed me bread. The softest bread, from the softest heart. Each day I have watched you, and each day I have yearned for you more."

She screamed and ran away.

I waited, dripping with the water from the lake, for several hours, hoping she would return.

After two days of waiting, I swallowed my pride and accepted my fate.

I would return to the lake, but not as a duck.

Tying the concrete block around my feet, I threw myself into the water.

This world had not been for people like me.