42. District 4 Male, Drift

The sea is calm when they take his body out on one of the larger trawlers, but the chant from the mourners sounds like the roiling November seas. When his sisters set up an intricate wailing chant, they sound like the gulls.

The body is wrapped in coarse netting; Drift's family can still see the scallop shells bound across his eyes. They make a huddle on the prow, away from the others, and it is Drift's brother who heaves the body over. The water, flat like glass, looks so hard, like it won't open to receive him. But it does.

Author's note: See 'The Funeral Fleet' for a longer version.