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She woke on the sand in the scorching daylight and tiptoed her fingers towards the gauze wrap of a woman dead beside her. White blind from the high sun, white blind from the crystallized ocean rippling into sandy waves and dunes around her, she had to feel her way exposing the smallest amount of skin to the blistering heat. At last, she let her hand rest deep on her lover’s chest. No precious beat, no lifting and falling of the ribs, the woman had escaped in the night and never said goodbye.
She rose onto her elbow and squinted at the body. A hot blast from the south, she believed it was south, blew granules into her eyes. It parched her of all senses. She curled and with cracked fingers wiped the stinging particles from her eyes. There were no tears.
She made her way towards the withering shelter of her companion and pulled loose her garb. Tented, she lay cocooned within the fabric walls of the improvised sarcophagus, praying she would be buried alive.
When the sun set, she emerged to the cold air of the big sky. Blinking in the deepening gentian light, she could make out night’s first star. She remembered her lover’s voice whispering—make a wish.
A celestial movement caught her attention. A meteor flickered as it blazed to its death. She witnessed its small life in the unfathomable depths of the universe. Life wasn’t fair or kind. Still, she had found love and been loved.
With the dune looming ahead of her as a sharp curved blade, she lay back and named the constellations. She identified the direction in which home lay. And chose to remain lost.
Claire Lawrence is a writer, entrepreneur and slayer of bucket lists. She is a graduate of the Southbank Writer’s Program from Simon Fraser University, British Columbia. She is a member of the Port Moody Writers’ Group, and the Royal City Literary Arts Society. Claire Lawrence lives in Port Moody, British Columbia with her four boys, husband, and a beastie little dog named Guinness.