It was late afternoon when Oscar Verplank and his mother arrived at his Aunt Penny's apartment. The boards of the porch creaked as they crossed to the heavy oak door. "The house is more than a hundred years old,"murmured his mother as she rang the bell. A buzz sounded and Oscar quickly opened the door. "They had to update the place to make it livable, Mother," he noted. As they climbed the creaky stairs, the door to the upstairs apartment was thrown open.
"Louise! It's been too long!" cried the woman who rushed out. As the sisters embraced each other, Oscar surveyed them. They looked alike in many ways. His mother was in her early forties, and Aunt Penny only three years younger. Both had brown hair, and blue eyes, and ample figures. Louise's dark- tinted hair, like her dreams, was cut short at her earlobes, while Penny's hair, frosted on the surface by natural grey, fell in bountiful curls upon her shoulders. Both had heart-shaped faces expressing a somewhat childlike sweetness. But Louise's was the tempered sweetness of a woman who had learned patience by taking back her dreams for alterations too many times; Penny had an ominously untamed vivacity about her.
Hood, Gwenyth E. “The Fountain and the Black Fish.” Mythic Circle 4 (Winter 1987): 40-47.