Flash of white.
I need you.
Don’t break me.
What is this?
The words pile around her wet form.
She is drawn in the damp sand.
She is nothing but lines.
Soon a shadow falls over her, a blanket of cool precision.
Caring emanates from the dark of the covering.
Remembering roughness, she realises, belatedly, that it is a coat.
A tweed coat.
Words and letters lap around her bare feet. They are the water here. They are the breath. They are the sea-life, and the sand. There is rocky white land beyond the surf; but the ocean has cast no denizens up from its depths onto the calm, calm shore.
When she opens her eyes, she is not blinded; instead, a figure sits blocking the harshest of the light, a triangle of form. Contrapposto, but for the crouching. Waiting.
The man-shadow’s peridot eyes glitter like their namesake stones, saying something like, “I believe this is yours. I had to swallow it, to save your life. It was all that was left of... well, of you.”
There is something in the hands. The fists loosen like silk ribbons spilled from a table… the fingers, squarish, longish, only partially manicured, they wrap around a...
There is a point on the bottom, where the roundness tapers. It pricks her thumb when she picks the thing up.
It has a thick cap on top, where a… small curved stem rests.
It is glinting in the light.
All of it.
She looks down; another word floats nearer, sliding in with the tide.
The man-shadow shakes his head and a soft curve of his lips regards her, playful.
“Marron. Some people call it an acorn. It’s a type of nut.”