Voyage

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The owner of the body smiled to the assistant and paid in cash.  Taking his ticket he told them this was his first time.  They hoped he’d enjoy it and come back.  I’m sure I will; it looks so beautiful.  He passed the gift shop, went outside through the automatic doors, walked briskly along a yellow stone path towards a viewing platform.  Then he turned his back on the sea, churning white on the rocks below, spread out his arms and fell backwards.

Unnoticed and anonymous he remained.  After the violence of the initial landing, the driving waves pushed him inside a small cave, sheltering him until the tide turned.  By nightfall, the gentle sea carried him back out under a moonless sky speckled by stars.

Drifting and silent, he left a fishing trawler untroubled, bobbing on the waves, the crew finishing a last round of cards and liquor before four hours of uneasy sleep.  Dawn was broken by the clicking and skittering of dolphins, flanking him as they swept in and out of the sea like thread in a tapestry.  A passing oil tanker caught him in its wake, throwing him like a ragdoll as debris gathered and coiled.  Mummified in plastic and netting, he changed course towards a small island – little more than a rocky outcrop with thirty or so square yards of beach.

He washed up at this new Eden, a bundle of human rubbish and one protruding hand, eyed curiously and pecked by the puzzled locals.

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