Octopus

Her eyes begin to close as the last rays of the setting sun illuminate the shifting currents. Drifting particles swirl around her, much as dust would in a long-forgotten attic, though she would never know. All that she sees through her half-closed eyes is the way the particles seem to glitter in the dappled light, and for a moment she wonders if they are dancing for her.

Dancing for me?

Her tiny sigh tickles her newborn, which float among the glittering sea-dust, their tiny mouths agape in awe as they wonder,

Are they dancing for us?

Caught in so much wonder, that their mother would have laughed, had she the strength or the breath to do so.

But she does not, so she continues to watch them instead, silent so as not to stir them, silent so as not to scare them, but perhaps they would not recognize her even if they did notice her.

And this thought creates a hollow feeling in her body, but perhaps that is merely the feeling of exhaling one’s last breath. And she closes her eyes in exhaustion as she thinks,

Yes, that must be why.

So with her final exhale, she tickles her children one last time.

 

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