Word of the Day: Xeriscaping

Word of the Day: Xeriscaping

In this series, I will take the Word of the Day from Dictionary.com and craft a short piece of creative writing around it.  My goal is to embrace the meaning of the word in some unique way, all the while trying out different styles, rhythms and characterizations.  It is as much an exercise in creativity as it is an exploration of grammar. Enjoy!

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By Alex Seise

She slapped the back of her blistered, red hand to her forehead and pressed hard, pulling the skin across beads of gathered sweat. They melted away in salty smears.

Around the small rocky ledge where she toiled, currents of bubbling water crashed and frothed. The air smelled terrible, thick and grotesque like aerosolized kerosene.

Only it was not the air; it was the mist that rose from the ocean that swirled and foamed around her. An ocean that teemed with poisoned saltwater, the same sea that flamed and flared on hot summer days. It’d been years since the Crack. Yet somehow, the loosened rivulets of petroleum continued to seep into the churning water, mixing away and keeping aquatic life at bay.

She breathed deep and turned to look back on her rude rocky funnel, coughing quietly. The rocks would catch rainwater, alright; the entire ledge was a feat of xeriscaping. Every drop was precious these days…

The woman coughed again before crouching into her knees and staring out over the acrid waves.

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