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Fiction #326
(published April 19, 2007)
Mother and Daughter
by Timothy Gager

(for kelly)

When the child was buried her lips and skin were no longer blue. "I love the sea, I die in the sea, I drown in the sea and the water," she said and with that she was not born. "You will be with me always," the mother said, saving the knit cap, the blanket, a sweater and a pair of shoes.


On the shore, the mother walked, beach stones warmed the bottom of her feet. "Yes, you have a new bathing suit Babygirl," she said. "It is something I bought for you. It is something I buy for you every year." Her daughter laughed and it was the sound of the seagulls, the waves breaking near and the sand shifting in the ocean breeze. "What should we do? What should we do today, Babygirl?" the mother asked her baby. "Today will be best day for it."

"I think we should swim." her tiny voice said.

"Swim? I'm afraid that I would drown."

"I think you should try."

"But it will hurt."

"It won't. It can never. It won't ever hurt unless you think there are things out there meant to hurt you."

"Babygirl. I love you more than all the sand on all the beaches everywhere. Most people only feel love as a single grain of sand."

"This is a beach full of them. Now go on."


And with that the mother went to live in the water.

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