I couldn’t help thinking about what we buried at the Turtle Islands. The grunt of the sea turtles digging their nests forever ringing in my ears, how the beasts lumbered to dig holes that would build life, while we dug them for what was already dead. It was more than a mark this time. She had been my love. And I paid for it, oh I paid. Twice.
“Abdul!” My brother had hissed in my ear as we slid the boat to its rocky dock. “The rangers?” He had a wild look about him, but I wasn’t worried about some pansy park rangers. I should have been, though.
We grabbed the trunk, each carrying an end, and made to cross the beach full of the turtle heifers padding over the sand, some crawling on top of each other. We had to dance and pick our way around the beasts. Good thing they were gentle giants. We just had to time our dance with the spotlights that swept back and forth, looking for poachers, and we’d be Scott free, deep in the jungle where vines and mud would encapsulate my secret love forever. But I ended up with two secrets that night: my brother—Bismallah may he be granted eternal paradise—did not make it out alive.
— Submitted by Samantha Kolber, Montpelier, Vermont, USA