Yām Ham Mā́weṯ

Shelley L Singler


He woke up with the crashing of the waves in his ears, and swayed.  He tried to yawn, but made a guttural gurgling sound instead. Immediately, he placed his clammy hand on his neck. Then he withdrew his hand, because it was wet. He removed the slimy seaweed that was bound around his wrists. Not shocked, but confused, he turned over and lifted his broad shoulders, hoisting himself up off of the beach sand. The dry sand clung to his naval uniform. He stood for a second scratching his head to collect his thoughts, while looking at the rock he had been resting his head on. It too was wrapped with seaweed as thick as rope.

He started walking towards a decrepit house on stilts with a broken window, and crooked shingles. He stopped by the mailbox post in front of the house where the mail overflowed. He looked at one of the letters, March 18, 1997. He looked at another letter, March 17, 2002. He then heard whimpering at his side as he scanned the old letters. A little Jack Russell Terrier was sitting by his water-logged shoe. The pup had a stick in its mouth. He reached towards the dog, but then the dog flattened its ears and slowly backed away from the man. The terrier started barking furiously, bearing its sharp incisors. Gasping, he stumbled putting his back into the mailbox, but it didn’t hurt.  The dog continued to bark, but surprisingly none of the other people walking along the beach front noticed. As the dog ran away still barking, some children followed it. He shrugged his broad shoulders and walked up the rickety stairs. There was an old wicker chair on the porch and he went to it. As he began to sit down, he looked at the window next to the wicker chair  ̶  there was no reflection.

Euphemism Campus Box 4240 Illinois State University, Normal, IL 61790-4240