Two things keep occurring to Sarah’s weakened brain:
- It’s been 41 minutes since she last saw a fin.
- It’s so stupid to die in the Arctic Sea.
She touches Jim, whose shivering has lessened now that he’s wrapped in the extra parka, but averts her gaze from Carol. Carol has quieted, too – but it’s because in her final, love-struck moments, she insisted on providing the extra insulation.
“Let’s s-s-s-s-s-s-ing something,” Jim says.
“No. It’s better.” He pauses, takes a gulping breath of salt and freezing sea-spray that would otherwise be theatrical and funny.
“Then imagining,” he says, and her mind flash-bulbs to sleek black flesh, rising soundlessly from the depths. The horizon around them is clear – water scorched black by the burnt sienna sunset – but the reality is they’re still out there.
“They got no place else to go,” Sarah whispers. “Jesus Christ.”
“What was Carol’s favorite?” Jim gasps.
Before Sarah can tell him to shut up, for fuck’s sake, an impact tremor sends their ice floe surging out of the water with a crack like pavement being hammered apart. Sarah tumbles backward, legs kicking up. Her stomach turns and she screams; the noise sounds disconcertingly small.
The snowshoes and axes are scattered, and the sled is tipped on one side, adjacent to Carol.
“What is it?” Jim says, desperate.
She knows it.
“Shit,” Sarah groans.
Sarah takes a breath and sings:
Hey, I just met you, and this is crazy.
But here’s my number – call me, maybe?
It’s hard to look right at you b-
Sarah is giggling too much to keep singing, and Jim rolls over, grunts at the sky. “She had terrible taste.”
“Well,” Sarah laughs, the water licking at her boots. “Let’s not judge her for her faults.”