Waterbirds

At 6:03am, she grasped the rotting gate, stopping it mid-swing, and looked out at the mudflats that led down to the beach, and the Wash beyond. Sodden things frilled there like scuds of foam. White down feathers had blown about and got caught in the fleshy stalks of seablite growing between the fence posts. She plucked one and rubbed it between her fingers as she strode barefoot onto the cold sand.

approx. 5900 words

First published in Lightspeed — July 2018

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Reprints:
Best of British Science Fiction 2018 — August 2019
The Long List Anthology Volume 5 — forthcoming (kickstarter)