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underwater official cover

He stood on the shore, the full moon’s light shattering into pearl fragments on the ocean’s black face. Sylvia, his darling wife—where in the vast waters had her ashes drifted? Three years had passed since the small and huddled service at the end of the rickety pier, a tinny rendition of “The Saints Go Marching In” huffed out on harmonica while Brendan scattered her ashes into the hungry ocean.

Had her ashes ever wafted pass mermaids, with bare breasts gleaming under the fiery sun, faintly green hair tangled with bright shells, or had they sat in the belly of some gray, dull-eyed fish?

Her funeral changed the ocean. How many more charred human remains churned in those dark waters? The thought of people splashing in that salty brine, shaking the brew of his wife out of their ears and wringing her out of bikinis made his stomach tighten into a hard fist.

The great watery abyss still shattered heart. A selfish, careless instant stole his darling Sylvia from this world. A bloated car full of spring breakers from Alabama, hell bent on partying in putrid Panama City Beach, collided with her motorcycle. During spring break traffic, the streets were paved with beer cans and condom wrappers. Drunken, sun-brunt twenty-somethings hung out the windows, screaming lewd remarks at anything with a pair of breasts. Casualties of alcohol poisoning or falls off fifteen story balconies weren’t anything new to this city. Although heartbroken, it didn’t shock him that post-adolescent madness ended her life.

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