Queen Niyami

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Image description: Digital drawing. A creature with the front half of a woman and the bottom half of a shark. She’s underwater. Foreground, a disembodied eye trailing a nerve stalk lies on the floor of the body of water in which the creature is floating. She’s facing forward with both hands planted on the floor as if doing a push-up. Her right eye is missing. The socket bleeds. Her open mouth is filled with shark’s teeth, and part of a second mouth appears to be growing out of her first and under her right cheek. She wears gold jewelry, metal cuffs, and a scarf wrapped upon her head that flutters slightly in the water. Her tail is visible bending towards the right.

“Well, I’ve heard that sharks can never stop moving or they’ll die.  And they don’t sleep as we do.  I have a story that might explain why, but…”

Lia pretended to hesitate as she gauged the children’s reactions.  The oldest looked curious but skeptical. The middle one started to grin at the mention of sharks.  And the youngest cocked her head in such a way that the lamp light cast a twinkle in her eye.

“You know what?” Lia said.  “I’m actually not sure I should tell you this one.  I don’t want to give you nightmares.”

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