“Da-dah!” Tears threatened.

His mother: “Hush.”

Daddy meant others, civilization: serpent-filled gardens.

“Hush, darling. Mommy’s here. Always.” The last a lie. Nobody remains always. “Even to the end of the age.” That much was true. History ended; she remained.

“Mo-muh?” Pause. “Da-dah.” Sad still, but tearless. Good enough.

“Rest, beloved. Please.”

She tucked him to her neck. The island was a wave-rocked womb. Uncharted, homey.

“Da-dah.”

“I know,” she said—and did.

But to go back was to face—well. You know, or think you know. History’s epilogue.

She stared unblinkingly, towards distant shores.

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