Story — From the August 2014 issue

Bounty

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A dead man twists around one of my Doric columns. I chose these columns for their plainness, their strength. I liked imagining people looking up at my home, its smoky leaded windows reflecting their city back at them, the classical Greek proportions held up by simple, democratic design. Tasteful. No frills. The dead man’s arm trembles oddly in the water, out of rhythm with the rest of his body. It’s most likely dislocated at the shoulder. Perhaps more than dislocated, but I won’t investigate. A brown gull does a number on his eye.

The man doesn’t look familiar, so I don’t believe him to be one I’ve turned away.

When the world first flooded, the men who came to my door asking for handouts calmly went away when I said no. They’d survived once before and would do it again. There were other options still. Colonies remained above water with homes to take refuge in. They speckled the rising sea. Now those colonies are underwater, most of their inhabitants drowned.

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’s collection Man V. Nature will be published in October by Harper. This is her first story for Harper’s Magazine.

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