The Beach

Summer Wind - Frank Sinatra

The summer wind came blowing in from across the sea and tickled the hairs on my arms before continuing on to dance with the tall blades of grass on the hill behind me. The coarse white sand was warm between my toes and the blue sky was flecked with the darting white and grey of screeching seagulls.

Looking once again to my left and then to my right, I could hardly believed that I was alone on such a beautiful stretch of beach. I had abandoned my car at the side of the road after spotting the gleaming white sand at the crest of a hill a half mile back. I wasn't entirely comfortable having the rental car out of sight but I'd only seen two or three other vehicles on the road all day.

Besides, it was so peaceful there. So perfect. If there had been food in the car I would have done up a little picnic and whiled away the afternoon in quiet contemplation of life and everything else.

But there wasn't anything other than a half empty bottle of sun-warmed water and lunch time, according to my grumbling belly, was approaching fast. With a sigh I turned away from the sea to head back to the road.

I don't think I can overstate my surprise when I was confronted with the business end of a handgun.

The man holding it said nothing, only motioned for me to lay face down in the sand. I did so without hesitation, too interested in saving my own skin to feel anger or shame. I couldn’t even tell you what he looked like - I just saw a black death hole and intense blue eyes.

He fished the car keys out of the pocket of my shorts and tapped me gently on the back of the head with the gun, a silent reminder to stay where I was. I heard him retreat slowly, the sand beneath his shoes crunching loudly in my ears at first and then gradually fading.

I didn't move until I heard the rental rumble to life and accelerate away to the south. Pushing myself up, I turned and sat facing the sea as I picked grains of sand out of my forehead and knees.

It turned out I didn't have to leave that little piece of paradise quite so soon after all.

The End

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