“This is bullshit!” There was less conviction this time. It had been a long time coming and the tipping point was close.

“Hello? Can anyone bloody-well hear me?” He thought he was shouting, but he was no longer certain whether his voice was carrying. It might even be possible, he considered, that his voice was so worn that he only heard himself because no one was bloody listening.

He tried to find the phone … it was somewhere nearby … that’s what he knew. Of course, as his hands slipped through that stuff that sure felt like sand, but – since his sight had failed a while back – he couldn’t be sure. He could feel the grit as he moved his hand around, slapping into the granular assumed-to-be-sand-stuff, but he couldn’t find the stupid thing! And, of course, there was something new … he thought there were a lot of new things occurring way too fast when the last thing he knew … no that wasn’t right, was it? No, the last thing he remembers before this hell was when things were going so well! And wasn’t that the point, he thought again?

He gave up, he couldn’t find it. And now, as his hand hung in the embracing grains of pulverised rock, he felt water lapping its way up his wrist. At first it did not register. It seemed that as his sight receded, so too had his sense of feeling. Touch was okay – though a lot of good it did him (he complained) in finding that stupid phone. But suddenly there was the sensation of water and he knew that couldn’t be good. He thought he would be hearing gulls flying away from the rising tide, but he couldn’t hear anything. Which, of course, led him to a moment of swearing as only he could – this of course was a surprise to many who got to know them as they walked the walk along the way. But, lying there, it seemed that he was likely not even speaking, he was only imagining his rote reaction to losing power … instead, he realised with resignation, that he was tired …

What did it matter? He had tried to get away from the ebbing rise. Already he could imagine his arm – from below the elbow – was blue. Sure felt searingly chilled! And then there it was … what was that sound he thought? He couldn’t lift his head, nope! And – even if he could – he couldn’t bloody well see. But there was a sound … rising water? … sirens? …

Maybe he should have felt … like he had to hide again … but this was something else. Was that wind? Ah, he thought with a moment of doubt, is that a helicopter? Did they find me? Hollow joy for a moment of desire lingered, but now seemed inconsequential … because the sound wasn’t … mechanical? Or completely … as he drew what energy he had left, it sounded more like feathered flight dancing into a hover … and then the wind died …

A Winged Wordle

A Winged Wordle

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