Today’s theme: sky.
Redder than she’d ever seen it. Seemed appropriate. Remembering everything that happened after in a kind of slow-motion rewind loop. Dust and hair in her mouth and the gnashing teeth of a million once-domesticated cats at her knees as she runs. And she runs. Wet slashes on her arms and legs, scorching in the wind. They ate the children first. Now she sits in the swell of the buckling, bobbing sea and waits. Watches the shoreline for a break in the fur, a way in past the claws and glaring slit eyes. They preen themselves, lounge and bat timidly at crabs in the rockpools. She remembers a compilation video of cats chasing toys and falling over or crashing into walls and almost laughs. She sneezes. The sky is an electric orange fuzz. Not a bird in sight.
Seagulls bitch and whine between puddles of beer and this afternoon’s salt-sheared chips. The evening aches over the water, drowning the day with two hands and hot words. A kite bobs overhead, freed from its tether and scouring the sky. From its height, the crowd is lego, short fat limbs and sandy dry hair all shaking their hands and staring at the little wrasse body of the youngest young girl, fish-bloated and paling in the shallows of the waves. The people are wailing and swaying and cursing the air, and with nobody’s direction, they all lift up the girl and hold her to the swift-dying sun like to dry her, like to soak up the water with the leftover heat of the day, like she’s a dish-rag just waiting to stretch out cat-flat in the light and then slip off unharmed into the arms of the twilight. But the sky isn’t looking at the flat hazing earth. It’s all eyes for the starlight and the girl goes unseen.