The Beach - By Ian Duncan
Suddenly blown open, the curtains catch themselves on a nail partially hidden under green paint. These curtains were meant to provide us with privacy from curious strangers drifting along the beach . . . but they don't. No one comes close enough to see anything anyway though.

Under the windows a dark green bench fits into the corner in the shape of an L.

One small corner of the room has been walled off and made into a bathroom. What seem to have once been yellow tiles cover the floor and scale up the walls but not quite to the ceiling. Picking up where the yellow tiles leave off is more dark green paint. Dirt accumulates on the tiles, hiding their original appearance; they're more brown now.

The shower is dead: there is no water. Only the toilet and sink will work.

Mounted above the sink is the mirror. A metal frame supporting its glass rusts and the brown veins crawl under the glass spreading through the mirror like a disease.

There is one exposed light bulb; it sticks out of the green wall above the mirror.

I look at myself in the mirror. I see the deep shadows on my face from the bare light above which shines steeply down. Illuminating one side of my neck and one side of my face is the light from the window behind me. My eyes remain partially hidden in shadow.

My hands hold onto the white metal sink and I feel the cold water flowing through my hair. The metal is cold, even in this tropical place. Tearing into the skin of my fingertips are sharp crystals of rust from underneath the rim of the sink where I press my hands firmly.


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