It Pulls You Under

Laila Amado

The season of the fogs brings heat and languor to this island lost in the middle of the sea. Everything sticks. The fabric of my dress, the man I’ve met at the bar the other day. “Where is your husband?” he says, eyes roaming over my left hand. Bed linens cling to my thighs and at dawn I dream that our boat has crushed, and the sail is wrapped around my legs, dragging me down into the abyss, full of jaws, and tongues, and silvery scales. Mosquitoes buzz against the nets in the overheated air. I’ve missed several deadlines. You would have been shocked to find how removed I feel from my remote work. The couple next door argues. Words vibrate with vitriol and spite and something else I don’t quite understand, and then the door slams, and the sudden silence reverberates in my ears. I drop my wedding band into a champagne flute and lean back against the wall of the rooftop patio. There is a darkness swelling on the horizon. A deep blue bruise of the tsunami. Gathering force, it rushes towards land.

Laila Amado is currently marooned on a small island halfway between Africa and Europe. She writes stories in her second language, lives in her fourth country, and cooks decent paella. Her stories have appeared in Daily Science Fiction, Rejection Letters, Porcupine Literary, and other publications. You can find her on Twitter at @onbonbon7.