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Morning After the Storm

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It was a normal day after a storm for us, salvaging the wreckage, taking what we could find, patching up our boats underneath a post-ominous gray sky. You know, normal work for a village like ours out by the seaside with no electricity out of the doctor’s office. Me and my bud, we were walking down to the shore at first light to try and be first on the scene. We were all wrapped up in our luminescent slickers and leaky boots, wishing we had more layers against the misty chill that was quickly pervading the area. We shivered to ourselves as a wind came up, blowing my knit cap nearly off my head and my friend’s hair all around his face. Pulling my hat off, I placed it on his head to keep his hair out of his eyes and mouth, using the inside first to wipe my glasses off. Bending forward, wrapping our arms around our jackets to try and keep the sand out, we trudged against the wind.

When we got out there, the beach was all lumpy-nothing all that new or weird after a heavy rain-the wind would blow it flat again soon-but we see this pile of driftwood with a little bit of glimmer inside of it, just waiting for us. The breezes are unrelenting on the beach, always pushing in or out or around all four sides, but the harsh blow that had been attempting to push us back to our doorsteps had gone as soon as we’d passed the dunes. Like it was hiding, this land-wind, from the sea. The air became gentle caresses across our face, like siren’s touches must feel before they claw a man’s face off. Quickly as we could we skirted the bumps to get to the driftwood.

He was leaping over them, too-big boots making squelching noises as he landed each time, but my legs and toes were feeling numb and unable to jump. After a few stumbling attempts, I gave up and simply started to plow through the lumps. I was about five feet behind him when I tripped over something covered by the sand. Like anyone that hopes to find anything worth money, I quickly got up on my knees to crawl back and see what it was.

As I began to brush the sand away, a slender hand shot out like a claw to wrap awkwardly around my fingers. Conscious now from my kick to his chest, the boy began to seize up, back arching and sand tumbling down from his stomach into an open blue-lipped mouth. Panicking, I just held onto his small fingers, shouting hoarsely over my shoulder to my friend.





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