Environmental Literature | Social Justice | Sustainable Futures

a short short story

March 23rd, 2017 | Posted by Jessica Marlow in Uncategorized

The warm form next to me shifts, then a blast of cold hits. Small feet pad across cold wooden floors. I don’t even need to peek out from under my heavy grey blanket to know that Teiko has already woken up. But I don’t want to – not yet. It’s too cold. Cold and wet and lonely. The bed is nice. Nice and warm. I wish I had more blankets but Obaa-san says that we only have enough for one per bed. To my right I see Momiji sound asleep, and I nestle a little closer to the little furnace that is my sister. When I was little, I didn’t have any sisters though. It was just me and Okaa-san and Otou-san and the baby. I think the baby was a boy. But then the baby disappeared one day and Okaa-san cried and cried and eventually Otou-san got quieter and quieter. Some days he wouldn’t come home until very late and I sometimes I could hear the sound of him shouting over Okaa-sans crying. But then one day they disappeared too. Obaa-san says that they got caught in floodwaters while they were on their way home from visiting the local Shinto temple. Apparently she found me playing on the beach. So now we live together, Obaa-san and I, along with Teiko and Momiji and Akira and Rei and Kyoko and Risa and Daichi and this new boy named Shou. He’s new. Sometimes he’s still a bit shy and cries sometimes but we help him. Yesterday I taught him how to lay out the seeweed Rei and Daichi gather to dry on the port side of our house. Usually the water doesn’t rise up too high so it stays drier over there. I remember when I was little on special occasions we would eat something called fish sometimes. It was usually cold and slimy. Obaa-san says that we can’t eat fish anymore because lots of them died and a lot of the ones that are left have goo inside. So we eat seaweed. Maybe today I will teach Shou the game I learned where you count the wave crests and see how high we can get. Maybe I should get out of bed. But then again. It’s so warm here…

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