We rolled her up in a big blue blanket, belting the middle, taping the ends, and we bore her, between us, right through the town while everyone slept. The street lanterns pooled the asphalt but would not give us away. The shop glass, only fleetingly. The gutters blubbered and bubbled.
Shush! Shush, the fossils are sleeping beneath the black beach.
The pallbearers shimmered in the slash rain and on the river face as they slunk through the dark and empty car park toward the shadow of beach. Grinner watched them. He saw them from many aspects and angles.
And, ah, the wind! Oh, holy! The wind was woeful. “Funereal,” said a voice to the void.
Sam says, out of nowhere, “… dead slow,” and I take this to mean be careful, so I says it over my shoulder and Pete says it over his. And this is what we did. We laid her out on the hard sand and, beneath the toll of the sea, conducted a service as best we could.
“She would’ve liked that, she would.”
Sam put his back out, or so he would have it, that night on the beach. But I can’t see how that could be, his role being mostly ministerial. There are those, and I include myself in their number, who still deem him magic. Magic, whatever that means.
And, somewhere unseen, the deadeye fishes haunt and hunt the sea meadow weeds.
We laid her down at the foot of the blue cliff. The air was wet-through. The town only yawned, shouldered a sheet.
Turn over. You’re snoring.
He watched their faces. “Low tide sand is impossible,” he said. They didn’t have the tools, wherewithal or knowhow. But they draped her, careful, with brown and green weed and with pebbles and the blanket is blue on the darkening beach.