Aftermath, by Andrea Marcusa
When the tide receded, everything was gone. No trees, no houses, only the small empty stone jail with its tiny window. I walk around the village looking for familiar markers. Something to tell me I’d been here before. But there is nothing except the muddy earth under my feet, the thick moist air, the jail, a lone cloud in the night sky and a feeble daytime crescent moon. I try not to think about all the missing people filing noisily into this vast empty silence. The teeming streets, the lit cottages, the village storefronts filled with bananas and watermelon and tomatoes, peppers, corn, the embroidery store dotted with colourful threads, the lunch spot with its grey tables and red vinyl seats. There are no roads, street signs, just far off hills where the sun will set. At the jail, I see a large metal padlock and thick chain sealing it shut.
I wonder what will happen to me, stranded here in this barren silence, locked out of even the jail, the only other structure that might offer shelter.
Andrea Marcusa'a has appeared in Gettysburg Review, Cutbank, River Styx, River Teeth, Citron Review, and others. She's received recognition in a range of competitions, including Glimmer Train, Raleigh Review, New Letters, Press 53 and Southampton Review. For more information, visit: andreamarcusa.com or see me on Twitter @d_marcusa
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