She found it on the beach, tied in a long piece of purple seaweed as if the sea was giving her a gift. The day before the sky had torn the sea apart, coating it with frightened froth and forcing its insides onto the shore. As with every battle there came a time of quiet shame, and she watched them both now; one full of wisps and the other lapping.
She brought it home and put it on the windowsill. As she peeled, she looked at it, the potatoes giving up their skins in long buttery ribbons. From the hall he watched her, saw her hands were busy and her mind was free.
“What the hell is that?”
His shout made the saucepan bounce on the floor. Kneeling down she picked it up and found her voice.
“Nothing, just something that got washed up on the beach.”
He picked it up and shook. Salty drops fell from its sides.
“I got some mussels. A crowd of them from Bartra Rock.”
She tipped the lip of the basket so he could see. Slick with sea they rolled around the weave, their undersides heavy with sand. She tried not to look at her treasure heavy in his hands.
“About time you got somethin’ worthwhile from that place.”
With a crash it smashed to the floor, flung pieces of itself into crevices.
“Call me when it’s ready.”
Her eyes took in the shards, a confetti of dreams at the door. She went back to peeling, the ribbons cold at her feet. Through the window he watched and smiled; her mind was now as busy as her hands.