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The Lake Monster Is Curious:
An Alternate Ending in the Monster’s Point of View

Becky Hagenston

bonus features:

Some of the things that Jo-Jo grunts (an incomplete glossary) by B. C. Edwards

Appendix 3B, "The Instructive Incident of the Lawn and its Necessary Lessons" by Steve Himmer

Alternate Ending to Shya Scanlon's "Portrait of the Oughtist" by Paula Bomer (with two collages by James J. Williams III)

Joan Enright's pie recipe (as featured in Eliza Tudor's "Person, Place, or Thing"

A Behind-theScenes essay for "Cold Travel" by Gabriel Urza

Camp Conversation: Lydia Conklin and Gabe Durham discuss summer camp

Hello Clone, I Will Say by Gabe Durham (featuring illustration by Lydia Conklin)

excerpt (chapter 1) from Steven Rinella's American Buffalo

Champaign-Urbana Gymnopédie by Scott Garson

He can smell them from across the water, the salt and blood of them, and he swims just under the surface of the lake, giant flippers motoring through the water. His heart begins to pound faster. Far, far below him, he can sense her listening, disapproving. Don’t mess with them! she warned. Her right flipper is frayed from an ancient injury—a harpoon that went whistling through the lake and nearly caught her in the neck. Why can’t you just stay down here, with me and the kids?

But he can’t; when darkness comes he feels himself being pulled to the surface, almost against his will, and he finds himself wondering what will happen if he makes it to land. He almost made it once, long ago, before he met her, when his parents were the ones warning him: stay away from them. He had swum closer and closer to shore, until his flippers touched gravel, and he had strained his neck out of the water and met the eyes of a human child—eyes green like algae—who had screamed and splashed away.

That night, he told his mother: They’re more scared of us than we are of them, and she had forbidden him to leave her sight for weeks, allowing him to venture to the surface only for necessary oxygen and surface algae.

And then, not long ago, he had felt himself drawing up to the sunlight, had lifted his snout for a moment and breathed in the dry, bright air. He had seen the human from across the lake, smelled the fear breaking out on the human’s skin, and dipped back below.

 Now, the humans are so close, he can hear them breathing from beneath the surface of the water; he thinks of the screaming child, but men are braver than children. He wants to get a closer look.

He lifts his dripping head up, up, his snout breaks the surface, and that’s when something explodes through the trees and a pain slices across his neck, and he feels himself falling back beneath the dark water.

Behind the Scenes of "The Fish" by Patrick Somerville

The Singing Fish: Revisited by Peter Markus

Three Different Apocalypses by Lucy Corin

My Eagle Scout Project: A Sidewalk: A List, an extra short by Adam Peterson

Deer Summer Sausage recipe (and illustration) by Mike Alber

The Lake Monster Is Curious: An Alternate Ending in the Monster’s Point of View, by Becky Hagenston