After you’ve gone

A beautiful sunset, clear skies, bare feet submerged in the cool water. What’s that? Oh, a sea urchin! Well, what’s left of him. Tiny hairs sticking out of his skeleton. I watch how the golden rays light them up. An elderly man walks up to me. What is it that you’ve found? I show him my little treasure. Beautiful, he says, before continuing on his way. I take the test home with me, savoring the time that I have left on this earth.

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