B. Morris Allen’s story “Adaptations to Coastal Erosion” was published in Metaphorosis on Friday, 24 June 2016.
This story started with literary theft. I was reading Jonathan Carroll’s After Silence, which includes a brief story-within-a-story about a woman who gets skinnier and skinnier, and eventually floats away from her husband. Carroll doesn’t do much more with it, but the idea intrigued me – the sudden and unexplained negation of physical laws for just one person.
I didn’t tread too far from Carroll’s original idea – my woman sinks instead of floating, which I thought allowed more opportunity for mystery and exploration. But while Carroll’s story is a metaphor for marriage, mine is a stand-in for age-induced mental deterioration, with two women torn apart as one embarks on what seems to her a new adventure.
The story is set in a little coastal village where I spent many of my childhood summers, and now live full time. The house in question was once occupied by a lovely old woman who bears no other relation to the characters, and certainly didn’t sink away into the sand.
I usually find titles easy, but this was an exception. I tried or considered almost a dozen before settling on this one.
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