Beyond the Storm

There are children, down there.

I found a doll once. It had muddy clothes and the brightest yellow hair. I’ve never seen a person like that. The doll floated up through the murky water, straight into my hand. I’m sure one of the long-gone little girls wanted me to have it. I can see her in my mind’s eye, one rotted, bony hand slowly unfurling to allow her precious treasure to drift upwards out of the murk and the dark and up to me.

I cleaned it up as best I could, and I said thank you like my mother tells me to.

I’d like to ask the little girl what the doll’s name is. It doesn’t seem right for me to name it. I wonder if she had hair like that, all golden and shiny. Of course it would be gone, now, or rotten, or tangled up in weeds and rust with fishes nibbling at the ends. My own hair is dull brown, like my mother’s and my grandmother’s and everyone in this little village of rafts and platforms built around what they say was once the tallest building for miles around. Now only a few floors are left, since the water rose.

You can find the complete version of Beyond the Storm in issue 57 of TBD.

Susanna Krawczyk