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On The Edge -- FWG Flash Fiction for 4/22/2023

It's a rainy day here, so this one's a bit dark. Remember On the Beach?

Prompt is:

On The Edge

The sun set on another day fraught with anticipation of the inevitable. The waves thundering below nibbled away at the cliff’s foundations. When Trudy’s great-grandparents built their getaway on the shore, the shore was actually a short walk away and the cliff many times higher. But over the intervening decades, the rising ocean advanced while the shoreline receded.

When Trudy first stepped onto the deck, she did so gingerly. She wasn’t sure if it would slide over the edge and crash onto the tumbled rocks below. But after a decade living alone on The Edge, as she called it, she had become inured to the danger. Well…sort of alone. There were the ever-present voices whispering between breakers, after all. The voices that came day or night when the wind and the waves were synchronized just right.

Sometimes she thought she could make out a word or two, but most days they seemed to converse in a language no human had ever spoken. Her rational self knew they were just artifacts of waves pushing the wind through the caves under the cabin, but her irrational mind—the one she lived in most of the time—knew with certainty that the spirits of The Edge were calling to her, either beckoning her to, or warning her not to, lean over the railing far enough to answer them.

For these many years, she had resisted the voices, her rational self holding sway. But today, the word came. A solitary farewell over the otherwise silent radio bands. The melting ice and upwelling sea floor had done its worst. Civilization was no more.

So Trudy stepped boldly onto the deck, her last cigarette between her lips, her last whiskey in her hand. The voices called. She leaned far out over the railing and answered them.

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