Under the water, deep in the muck: they are alive with other life. Worms and fish, corals and jellies, weeds and sponges. Things with many limbs, and none. A creature that turns itself inside out to move: mouth to anus, anus to mouth, now out, now in.
She is named after a hurricane. Her mother, wading through water up to her neck, found a man floating face-down in the water during those first days; dead, she thought, but no, he lived. She turned him over to check on him, and he breathed, blinked, sank into the water until his head was even with hers. Neither of them spoke much in those days, but stuck together until they were out of the water and even afterward. Later, her mother found her tongue again in a desert town, but he never did; always too quiet for comfort.
He dies when Katrina is pushing thirteen. She finds him on the couch after school, dry and brown, face and chest fallen in like an apple core left on a windowsill for a week. Dead, they said, but she has her doubts. After hours she breaks into the morgue and frees his body. Never a big man, he weighs next to nothing now; she can lift him with one hand, carry him without wearying.
It is a long walk to the water, but she owes her father that much, she figures: one long walk back to the sea.