Black and polished like glass, the sentinels stretch from the end of the pier to the horizon, dividing the bay in half. Tall and straight, like soldiers sunk in water to their waists. They’ve been there as long as anyone remembers. Tourists try to photograph them, but they don’t show up well. Shadowy, like they’re fading.

Someone built a gate into the pier so that boats could go from one side of the bay to the other. No one knew what would happen if a boat drifted too close to the sentinels—it last happened years ago and them as know the details never speak of it. Jimmy swam out one night on a dare, promising to bring back a shard. He never came back. A few days later, something washed ashore. A bundle, strung with seaweed. A yellowed something stuck out of one end, and it might have been bone. None of us ventured close enough to check, and it was gone next morning in any case.

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