Beams Stop Falling

Day 6,143

The ocean has risen to swallow the city below me, a warm rush of amniotic fluid covering the first three stories of every building. I am high and dry in my lofty rooms, but there is a pungent salt tang to the air now, the sharp smell of rot and decay. And yet somehow life goes on, as above so below; my daily rituals are uninterrupted, and, so far as I can tell, the rhythms of the city barely paused. Cars have been replaced by boats, and pedestrians spider their way between blocks using spindly, makeshift bridges now, but still they move.

It was not a quick flooding, this one, in human terms, I suppose — the work of years and months rather than minutes. First came the warnings, then came the levees and the seawalls, themselves the work of years, then, when the waters rose and overtopped even those, resignation. A thick cable of cars dragged its way up to the hills, at first, as people evacuated, and for a while only the Dofleini and I remained. I lived off my hoarded food; I don’t know what they ate, but now and again a blossom of blood would unfurl in the water, so I assume they weren’t starving.

As time wore on and the water stayed high, people came trickling back, sealing off what they could and living with the rest. Life, like the sea, rolled on.

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