The wind howls and whistles through empty windows, dust carrying nothing so much as echoes and snippets of treble--broken piano noises with a slap echo, water lapping against a pier footing.
She sits there a long time, her dark skin sucking up the minuscule amount of moisture in the air. Children's voices ring in her ears as they bounce off the water's surface.
The murk in the water looks like something alive, writhing in the confines of the riverbank but not disturbing the surface.
She's given up hope, mostly. Maybe the church lady, Penelope, can get something to happen. Penelope's done a lot of things that people didn't think she could.
Not for the first time, she wonders if there is any life in the water at all. There hasn't been a fish pulled from the river in more than three years.
She thinks it would be easy enough to slip into the water and disappear. She has the equipment. She has the knowledge.
She's grown up here. Her father taught her to fish, to swim, to boat on the river, when there was a living to be made from it. A legitimate one, at least.
The beginnings of a plan--not a plan, an idea--start to lick at the edges of her mind; fire needing fuel. Her toes curl into her leather sandals, and she dips her feet into the water for the first time in years, her head lolling back in the sun.
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