“The Sea Bank of Svalbard South” can be found in the March issue of Metaphorosis, and is based around the idea of isolation: how we make it, how we enforce it. It’s a riff on the actual Doomsday seed vault up at Svalbard, in the Arctic Circle, but this is a sea bank, not a seed one, and set in southern waters. It’s focused on the preservation of marine plants, specifically of algae.
I’m very fond of algae (they’re fascinating organisms!) so it’s no surprise that the story’s structured around it. In fact, pretty much every alga mentioned in the story is one I’ve worked on in the past, when I was looking at seasonal variations in mycosporine-like amino acids in seaweed – for which I still haven’t written up the paper (must get on to that).
Lizzy thought she’d be spared the burying of him. She’d looked for Bryan in the dark waters, in wind and rain until night fell and searching was useless. After three days she thought the sea had taken him.
He had thrown himself from the sea-cliffs. She’d watched him do it and hadn’t understood what he was doing until it was over. Even after, with time to reflect, it was barely comprehensible. South should have been a safe place for people like them. The isolation, the silence. The sheer relief of it all.
Why hadn’t he been grateful?
Anyway, it’s free to read up the link there.