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The Last Night Shift by Sarah James

The town’s 6am siren blasts. Tim straightens and rubs his aching back before passing his spade to Ken. Walking home, Tim watches dawn spill across the sky. An unsettling red, but better than looking at the land, sodden and useless.

The only difference between day and night shifts is digging through sunlight and rain, or rain and floodlights. By the end of each 6am or 6pm shift, they’re no safer than when they started: their small protective wall of earth constantly eroded by the encroaching sea, the town always on the brink of drowning. Every day, the wailing siren screams louder.



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