The wind rattles letter boxes, as it blows hard through a tiny valley, heaves itself against the bricks of the crumbling cottages. An old man sits and watches the ocean as it crashes against the cliffs. A robot sits beside him following his gaze, and ocassionally looking back at him, its diamond eyes shining even on this dull day. Its diamond shaped beak moved up and down as it warbled a tune to itself in a high pitched frequency so as not to disturb the old man.
Dark clouds blow past, sailing in the wind, casting shadows upon the sea. The smell of salt has a bitter edge to it, tinged with chemicals from all the shipwrecked cargoships that wrecked themselves on the nearby rocks. Layers of ships from all the consecutive industrial ages lie out there, jagged shapes rusting at the ocean floor.
Spray from the ocean leaps up and rains down upon them. Before him lies a single clothes pole sticking up out of the ground at the edge of the cliff as a single solitary reminder of the cottage that used to be there before being swallowed by the ocean.
Memories stir within him, of his childhood, of playing on the rocky beach, the scent of the sea always nearby, the sound of children playing. There were adventures among the rocks, playing in the rock pools, catching crabs and poking jelly fish.
Nothing but the rattling of the letter boxes in all the empty houses in the little abandoned village. Nothing but the singing of the wind. Nothing but the empty quiet of the hollow shells.
By Gregory Alter