I botched it. 

I am swimming back to the pier where I somersaulted off moments ago. Three people wait for me: Tunis, Vi, and Wally. They could have followed me into the water, but my stumble as I approached the pier’s edge must have spooked them. I was all arms and legs desperately searching for balance.

“Super bad,” Wally yells as I pull myself from the foaming breakers. “No points for you.”

Tunis and Vi giggle. They are sisters. Wally is my brother, who takes on the role of my tormentor whenever our parents are not present. Which is now. We are all four at the pier hoping to catch sight of the phosphorescence that will add a ghostly aura to the waters of the bay once the sky darkens.

But jumping off the pier comes first. Each turn into the water gets graded by a secret system that only Wally knows. My score almost never approaches his, just like my height is always three inches less, and my age is two years behind.

I walk back out on the wooden pier, listening to the creak of my weight on the planks, the slosh of the waves beneath me, and the call of the gulls overhead. It is the finest part of summer vacation, hanging out on the pier, waiting for the night.

“Eeew,” Vi says, pointing at my leg. “Eye worms.” Tunis does a fake scream and runs to the far edge of the pier.

I pluck off the tendrils clinging to my right leg. “It’s just a jellyfish.”

“Fish puke,” Wally corrects. “Only you would find it.”

Straightening back up, I adjust my suit and stride to the end of the pier. It’s thirty feet out—I’ve paced it. This time, as I near the edge, someone dashes past me and cannonballs into the water with a whoop.

Tunis and Vi applaud Wally’s sloppy but cool exit. “Five,” they say, each holding up a hand with five outstretched fingers.

I stick my tongue out. “Show off,” I shout at my brother. 

When I look at the sisters, they take a step back. Have I scared them? They are new this year to our strand of Carolina beach.

“You go,” they say, almost in unison. They aren’t twins, but they could be, so alike they move and smile and talk. So immature at seven and eight to my eleven years.

“Follow me,” I command, and retreat several feet from the jump-off to get a running start. Rising on my toes, I pause to let the ocean breeze ruffle the edges of my still-damp hair, and I drink in its salty nip. I could stand here forever, but my audience is waiting.

“Ya – hoo,” I cry, sprinting. I make a perfect, magnificent arc and knife into the bay. When I surface, treading water in the deep drop-off, the sisters are not applauding. That was at least an eight, I think. Instead, they are pointing. At me. Wally is back on the beach, headed toward the pier.

A fat moon is rising at the edge of the world, where the sea ends. What do the girls want? Then I look at the water, the swells lifting me gently in the fast-approaching darkness. I am engulfed in a glowing blue—not only the water that surrounds me, but my hair, my skin, is tinged with an otherworldly color. 

Wally has walked to the edge of the pier and stands with Vi and Tunis. They all stare at me. 

“She’s queen of the blues,” my brother finally says, laughing, and with another whoop, joins me in the water. 

I savor the title. It’s the closest thing to a compliment he’s given me in the last two weeks. 


A Dianna Sinovic story will be included in Until Dawn
A Supernatural Anthology


Dianna’s stories are also included in the following titles:


Author Bio
Author Bio
Dianna is a contributing author in the recent Bethlehem Writers Group anthology, Untethered. A man buys a painting of a jungle scene that is so realistic it seems to change in “Point of View.” She has also contributed stories for the Bethlehem Round Table magazine, including “In the Delivery.” Born and raised in the Midwest, Dianna has also lived in three other quadrants of the U.S. She writes short stories and poetry, and is working on a full-length novel about a young woman in search of her long-lost brother.
  • A Royal Pain

    I botched it.

    I am swimming back to the pier where I somersaulted off moments ago. Three people wait for me: Tunis, Vi, and Wally. They could have followed me into the water, but my stumble as I approached the pier’s edge must have spooked them. I was all arms and legs desperately searching for balance.

    @dianna_sinovic

  • Take Two

    Ramsey had exactly four dollars and thirty-three cents in his pocket. He knew because he’d just counted it out, to make sure he hadn’t dreamt a fifty tucked away in the far corners of his Levi’s.

    @dianna_sinovic

  • Birthday Wishes

    The first rays of the sun reached Zoë’s backyard shrine. They bathed the structure in slanted, golden stripes, as light filtered through the branches of the maples.

    @dianna_sinovic

  • Fish Tale by Dianna Sinovic
    I botched it.  I am swimming back to the pier where I somersaulted off moments ago. Three people wait for me: Tunis, Vi, and Wally. They could have followed me into the water, but my stumble as I approached the pier’s edge must have spooked them. I was all arms and legs desperately searching for […]
  • Coming into Focus by Dianna Sinovic

    The devil is in the details—not only when moving forward with any plan—or with life, but also when working to make a novel, short story, or even narrative nonfiction come to life for the reader.

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Dianna is a contributing author in the recent Bethlehem Writers Group anthology, Untethered. A man buys a painting of a jungle scene that is so realistic it seems to change in “Point of View.” She has also contributed stories for the Bethlehem Round Table magazine, including “In the Delivery.” Born and raised in the Midwest, Dianna has also lived in three other quadrants of the U.S. She writes short stories and poetry, and is working on a full-length novel about a young woman in search of her long-lost brother.
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