The Lynx in the Rapids by Christopher Dewdney
It is a grey, rainless summer afternoon. You are
walking through a northern hardwood forest beside
a river. You hear a baby crying from the brush near
the rapids. As you approach the sound, the hairs on
the nape of your neck prick up. You step onto a
rocky clearing beside the rapids. A wet lynx sits on
the flat rock verging the cataract, its back to you.
The lynx turns its head to look at you over its
shoulder. Its eyes are almost entirely pupil, the thin
rim of an elliptical, gold iris barely visible around the
black crystal caverns of its pupils. You have stood
here before. In memory you scream magnetically as
you pluck the irises from your own eyes in a mirror.
The iris-tissue like gold foil slipping off pupils that
are dark openings onto an unknowable, alien
emptiness. The sirens begin to wail. You turn to run
as the world starts to break up. The lynx wheels and
leaps in one bound onto your shoulders, sinking its
teeth into the back of your head. You are drawn
whole into the black vacuum of the lynx’s mouth.
The lynx transforms into an enormous horned
serpent, its body containing a universe of stars.
The world is a prison that has shrunk to the
outline of your body. You are now free to move.