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the genre's premiere review magazine for short SF & Fantasy since 1993

Strange Horizons, June 17, 2013

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Strange Horizons, June 17, 2013

"Longfin's Daughters" by O.J. Cade

Reviewed by Stevie Barry

This story plays out almost like a fairytale. Three sisters live beside an eel pond, each performing different tasks, all coming back to the eels. The eldest two love to swim in the pond, but the youngest has a horror of it and its occupants, and constantly refuses her sisters' invitations and assurances that she'd like the eels if she only spent time with them.

The longer this goes on, the more she fears them, and it would seem she's right to: she wakes in the morning to find eel bites on her heels, and she begins having ever-more-vivid nightmares. The story culminates in an extremely creepy way, explaining the girl's terror.

It's an eerie little tale, and quite claustrophobic. The youngest sister's mounting dread is very well-done, and by the end it had me squirming a little.