|Not really a raft, no, but--come on. Use your imagination.|
It began as a speck in the persimmon fanfare of sunset, barely distinguishable from the dips of waves. She watches without watching, without realizing she's watching, until the speck no longer fades. Becomes more than play of shadow in a world too golden to be real. More than a figment of starvation, dehydration. She blinks. It's still there.
Even a day ago she might have stood. Not to wave like the madwoman she's become, not to attempt to signal; there's nothing to signal with, anyway. No, she might have stood just to get a better view. With her head down on the sand--cold because it's under the palms, which feels good during the day but has begun to be uncomfortable now that the sun is leaving--the horizon is marred by the rocks on the shore. With her head down on the sand the crash of the waves and their unbearable, unstoppable rhythm obscure everything. Even the hunger. Even the certainty of her death.
She's too weak to stand now, to want to stand. She's been too weak for many things for days.
And what would be the point? Whatever it is out there in the water won't get close enough to see her, even if she stood. Nothing does.
But the raft keeps coming. She can't see it after a while because of the rocks, but she hears--yes, even above the waves--the other, also unstoppable, rhythm of oars. It's not the sight of the raft but this, the sound of its oars, that she closes her eyes to at the end.
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