I wrote this story nearly a year ago, right at the end of the before times. Rereading it now, I realize it’s one of my favorite things I’ve ever written. It really does feel like it’s all burning down sometimes, doesn’t it?
Still, I think of that shore. Those birds. Infinite rocks and little time.
I know of a shore that harbors magic: an old, forgotten magic that lies dormant beneath the rocks and pebbles of all shades and sizes. They sit atop the sand at least two feet deep and two miles long. In my memory, I return there often. The Atlantic whips the coast with salty daggers and it’s no wonder the rocks are smooth and shiny like jewelry. I think my face would’ve become that too if I had stayed. I wanted to pocket a few of the rocks before I left as some sort of souvenir, but that’d be kidnapping. They belonged there. They belonged there like the birds that darted around in the tall grass behind the rocks—birds I’ve not seen anywhere else. Plus, I’d whispered to the rocks that I’d be back someday. I asked them to wait for me.
I sometimes imagine that if the world were ending…
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