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Down by the water, bodies were still littering the beach every so often. What was left of local government would occasionally pick them up at various points during the day, but new corpses would magically appear overnight in unexpected places. They were brought in by the sea, sometimes from far away. They were clumsily rejected by waves who didn’t know what to do with them, in much the same way that a cat gets rid of a dead toy after it has lost interest in it. Sometimes the corpses would arrive already entangled in plastic fibers and seaweed, taking on an almost amorphous configuration as they became twisted, deformed, rolled up into various shapes. Most times there would be no immediately discernible head or face. But then, an occasional protruding limb would give it away: somewhere within this mess there is a body.
But other times, the bodies were gently brought out to the beach in a sleeping, almost angelic position. They would be fully clothed, hair groomed backwards, almost as if they had been prepared by the sea for a floating funeral. A gentle wave would slowly levitate them towards the shore before it finally deposited them on the wet sand respectfully, like a shrine offering. It did the same with all the other life forms, however big or small: fish, moluscs, crustaceans. Everything became an exhibition item displayed against a warm beige background: from a soon-to-be extinct whale, down to a tiny twig bleached by the sea. It didn’t matter how big or small. They all had something to say, a story to tell. A unique, complex, convoluted story that however always linked them back to each other somewhere in the past. And by virtue of the symmetry in all of the planet’s circular processes, it brought them back together so they can all say goodbye to each other. Their final resting position was also their reunion.
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George is an author, researcher, podcast host, chemist, molecular biologist and food scientist. You can follow him on Twitter @99blackbaloons , listen to his Spotify podcast George reads George, sign up for blog alerts below, or enjoy his books