Monday, September 19, 2011

The Lake by Tananarive Due

The Lake is a part of the The Monster's Corner: Stories through Inhuman Eyes anthology, due out September 27th. When I found it available for online for free, I jumped at the chance to read it as it goes with the RIP Challenge, falling under Peril of the Short Story.

“The Lake” by Tananarive Due, tells the story of Abbie LeFleur, a lifetime Bostonian who hides her scales, webbed feet, and an incredible hunger for people. She’s relocated to Graceville to start her life anew when she sets her eyes on a young student in her English class.

Abbie Lafleur is a teacher who has relocated from Boston to Graceville, Florida for a fresh start. She left behind her parents and best friend Mary Kay, all of whom can't quite understand why Abbie wanted to go to rural Florida to teach. Abbie buys an old fixer-upper because it is on the lake and for the privacy it grants. She spends hot summer nights dipping into her own little piece of the lake. Soon strange things start happening to Abbie. Her body slowly changes, and her dreams are becoming vividly consumed by the lake. Abbie seems to enjoy the newness of her body, for aids her late night swims which she's enjoying more and more.

Abbie undertakes the help of one of her summer school students and his cousin. She pays the two to work on her house, meanwhile, her appetite for something more than every day food becomes overwhelming. The raw meat and fish she's been eating is no longer cutting it and she wants to move on to something bigger, something better...

The Lake was interesting. It wasn't creepy or haunting, something I was expecting from a story coming from this anthology, and Abbie was a left pretty much a mystery, which is strange since this is her story, through her eyes. In a way the story raises the issue of teacher/student relationships. There was no explicit relationship, but Abbie had a predatory nature about here where her male students were concerned. I'm not sure if that was entirely a side effect of the changes she was experiencing through the lake or if that was just Abbie. It didn't help that her best friend's name was Mary Kay (Letourneau, anyone?) and Abbie mused that a teacher/student relationship Mary Kay once had with a student ended up working out.

The fact that Abbie was not startled by the changes to her body also troubled me. If I one day woke up with webbed toes and gills, I'd be very concerned. I reason that her lack of care and easy acceptance could have been due in part to the seduction of the lake, but I still wish there had been a little more explanation.

In the end, I was left with more questions than answers, and that doesn't make for a very satisfying read.

If you're interested, you can read The Lake here.

6 comments:

Kailana said...

It doesn't sound very satisfying...

Brie said...

@Kailana, it definitely wasn't.

dooliterature said...

I agree. Webbed toes and gills call for at least a little bit of screaming or crying. The anthology as a whole sounds rather interesting though!

Brie said...

@ dooliterature. Thanks for stopping by. Yeah, I can't see brushing off those things as nothing at all! I think the story suffered from being too short, but that isn't really a good excuse, is it, since it is a short story. Oh well. And yes, I will be picking up the anthology. I like the idea of reading through the eyes of the "bad guys."

Marce said...

To bad it wasn't great, sounds like execution was off.

Brie said...

@Marce That's a good way to describe it. Thanks for stopping by!

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