Saturday, April 27, 2013
Flash Fiction: The Sea
Everett flicked the tail end of the cigarette away, watching it spin end over end into the sea. He let loose the last remnants of the precious smoke from his lungs and brought the bottle to his lips. He drew a pull of the liquor, cheap, dark, and brown, but serviceable for his needs. He took several more pulls, wishing that hadn't been his only smoke and watched the tide push in its refuse, the beach resembling some waterlogged junkyard. He felt the booze burn his throat and wished it would dull some of his other senses, but it wasn't enough, not yet.
He sat on the shoreline until the tide began to lap at his feet, blending in with the rest of the trash on the beach. Everett laid on his back, holding the bottle in his hand and looked to the sky. It was dark, but the smog and carbon monoxide of the city formed a film over the skyline. Only the brightest stars shown through though and even then they were but a pale reflection behind a scummy veneer. He tuned to the moon, the only thing that held any light at all. On a night like this, he wished it had been full, bright and warm, lighting the darkness in its pale ether.
Instead the moon was but a sliver, a slim crack of light in the inky paleness of the night sky. Not even a crescent, just the barest of curvature hinting at the lunar globe. An outline of his loneliness. He held the bottle high, letting the sliver of light shine through the bottle, covering himself in a brown moon shadow. In an offered toast, he took one last drink and flung the bottle into the sea. Washed away to wash ashore again, unwanted by the land and the sea, just like him.
It was there he sat on the beach, letting the waves lap at his feet as he watched the moon circle across the sky. The chill of the water and the windy bite of the breeze didn't seem to faze him, nor did the graininess of the sand, wet and cold beneath him. The night seemed to pass in a mire, slowed by the wet slickness of the sea. It blended into the darkness of a night sky meeting a blackened sand. A dead sky meeting a dead beach. It was hard to tell where the horizon ended and the Earth began. A moment in space lost, lost among the refuse of the discarded.
He sat unmoving, numbness slipping into his limbs as the tell tale red trim of the sun approached to the west. The tide had begun to reduce, retreating into the cold green spray of the sea. He sat waiting, wondering if the dawn held the answers that the night had kept from him. Wondering if the beginning of today could be worse than the end of yesterday.
End of Line.