KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 2: Winter 2015
Micro-Fiction: 245 words

Stray Turtle on the Jersey Shore

by Paul Sohar

The fat carcass rolls obediently in the waves, offering its belly or back with equal indifference.

A giant turtle, so far up north?

A handful of shivering, half-naked mourners are muted by the roar of the ocean. The wind dulls the sky and the molten bottle-green waves with broad brush-strokes of sand and salt.

Why are we standing around here, if we can’t even pray?

People and turtles go where they have to, and don’t ask why.

Maybe somebody sold him a cheap vacation promising free beer, free salvation, and plenty of free love. Or was there a revolt back home?

Or did he come here to the shore trying to sell cheap trinkets and fake Gucci bags made by child labor back in his warm seas?

Or else he was a dirty old turtle seeking to take advantage of innocent little children and make porno pix with them.

And look how innocent the lonely traveler is now, and obedient like a starving child, wearing nothing but battering marks. Drunken waves keep rolling him from side to side even though his pockets are empty, his shell is gone, and one leg’s been sold off.

A scattering of mourners, with towels wrapped around them, stay chained to the beach by the foam around their toes.

As if the only thing left alive, the ocean roars out a funeral march, more like for us who still stand around without knowing why.

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