The storm brought the ocean into our home.

Even after the worst of the blowing was over, mother’s body couldn’t survive in the cold and the wet for long. I could only wrap her in a quilt, put her to bed, and wait.

The rainfall had become gentle, and the thunder sounded like a back cracking as I stood over her, knee-deep in seawater, watching her breath slow.

Tiny fish swam between my toes. I remained motionless, my skin puckering as I watched her breath slow, then slow, then stop.

When she died, there was a flicker of lightning, and her soul went into this mouse.

She stays dry by hiding in the ceiling and lives on the cracker crumbs I leave for her on a rafter.

I’ve started a shoebox apartment for her, for when the water goes down. I have a folded sock, which will eventually dry, for a bed, and a threadspool for a table.

Her body, I’ve kept just as she left it – in case she gets homesick.

The rain is now a mist. I sit in a saturated armchair and play solitaire on her quilt by candlelight, waiting for the water to go down, as teeny, tiny fish swim between my toes.


by M. N. Hanson

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