by David Golding

She walked downriver and remembered the kitchen table back then. Her mother chopped carrots while explaining to her that these parts, these bends, these were special. Here the river was murky. Not a grey murk but a brown, chunks and particulates whirling onwards through the occasional rapids. It was filthy and it is where they bathed, where they washed their clothes. Shrimp, bug-eyed, were caught in the flow, sloshed from the big grey walls of the farm upstream. The people scooped up the shrimp in nets and chopped palm waist-deep in kelp. Mollosks stuck onto the wooden columns of the wharf where men drank and gambled.

The water downriver from these murky parts came out clean and sweet, nice water, expensive water, and the great big white trucks that gleamed the celestial sun drove in and hauled the water out. Lines of trucks.

In each truck, in its dark hold, her mother imagined, a body tore at its own stomach with claws.


David teaches peace studies and international development in Sri Lanka. He lives in a fishing village where the men drink coconut moonshine and play drums by the train tracks. His fiction can be found at
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