By Julie Brooks Barbour

Her back hunched toward the floor. Her family stood upright on the opposite side of the room.  She wore a black shell that could splinter if split just right. Her mother’s angry face revealed the reason for the curvature: her fault. A shell sticks fast, but one night, she pulled hard and crawled out. A wall of mattresses stood outside her home. Any other shelled creature would crawl between them and hide, but she scaled them, skin white in the moonlight, shining bright as any shell.

– refers to “shell” from Leslie’s Shells by Richard Allen Taylor

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