The Greenest Green You'd Ever Seen
by Maxwell Pretzer, 3.24am Sept 10th 2021

You wore a sea smoke mantle as you paddled toward the spit near the rivermouth, scion of the beach bashed in by the Portland Gale. Clouds curtained the dawn and neap tide rendered the flat on the far side of the spit invisible, but you knew it was there. Driving your bow onto the bar, you disembarked, unthonged your feet, waded ankle-deep into frigid, reeking squelch and probed with your toes. Eureka.

 

The razor clam spat in your face as you dug it out. You raised it to your mouth, wedged your canine into the cleft where the siphon slithered out, split it open, slurped it down, disjointed the shell and tossed one half back into the water while pocketing the other. The old watchtower loomed over the marsh from the southern cliff, peering into the black depths of the Atlantic like some demented sentinel. You turned your back to it and trudged toward higher ground. 

Terns swooped at your head as you approached the crest of the spit. They’d’ve gouged your eyes out if not for the stiff, wide brim of your cordgrass hat. You lit a cigarette. The smoke deterred the birds a bit, but at this point their onslaught was irrelevant. You were nearing the finish line. 

When you got to the top you unbuttoned your shirt, knelt and pulled the shell from your pocket. The sun had broken through and glinted off the nacreous blade as you raised it above your head and plunged it into your stomach. Exenterating your innards, you slit the tripe and disgorged a behemoth bezoar. You planted it in the crimson sand and no sooner had you done so than a tree erupted and bloomed ivory flowers. Pearlescent plums swelled and ripened, shining with all the brilliance of creation. You fell against the trunk and looked over the marsh, summertime salt hay waving in the wind, the greenest green you’d ever seen.