Shortly Before the End

Kim Goldberg

Shortly Before the End

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“Shortly Before the End” was originally published in Ryga.

Shortly before the end, their minds turned sleek and black and were last seen bobbing and diving among small, open fishboats in the harbour. The golden light scattered diamonds atop the sea whenever a lean mind broke the surface. Each mind had a tight band around its neck and a string on one leg. This allowed it to continue searching and biting down on anything slippery it might encounter while scouring the murky depths. But the collar prevented the mind from assimilating its catch, thus rendering each mind into an immaculate self-propelled satchel that was relieved of its still squirming bounty by a higher power every time it bobbed to the surface and the string was reeled in. By afternoon, the collars were removed and the ravenous minds were allowed to eat just enough of their catch to remain conscious and nourish brain cells. Then they were shut away in wicker crates until the following day.

Kim Goldberg is the author of seven books of poetry and nonfiction, and a winner of the Rannu Fund Poetry Prize for Speculative Literature. Her off-kilter poems and tales have appeared in Superhero Universe (Tesseracts 19), On Spec, Riddle Fence, Prairie Fire, Urban Green Man Anthology, Imaginarium 3, Dark Mountain, Zahir Tales and elsewhere. Kim lives in a 1940’s miner’s cottage in Nanaimo, BC. She finds inspiration while wandering the forests, shoreline, alleyways and forgotten places.