21-02-13

The sailor bent down to look at the bottle. He expected to see a label, but the bottle was bare. He picked it up and put it back down again. He pushed his sailor’s cap back on his head and scratched his forehead beneath his kiss curl. He was surrounded by silence for the first time in a long while. It was oppressive, as though all vibration had been sucked out of the air. He realised that he was wearing his sailor’s jacket, dark blue with the square collar that hung down across the broad span of his back, tied with a ribbon at the front. ‘Am I dead?’ he asked himself. He looked down at his feet. He stood with one foot in the sand, the other in the snow. ‘Am I now really dead?’ he asked himself again. He picked up the bottle again, opened it and drank. It had a strange taste, metallic and clinical, with hard edges as though he were drinking a shard of something solid and bright. He felt cold, and he saw that the sand had all turned to snow. He stood with both feet in the frozen powder, waiting for something new.

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