The Horizon

In my recent review of Tim Clare’s Couch to 80k Bootcamp, I referenced my first free write, and how a story seemed to emerge after my cry for “HALP!”. The following is that story, with a tiny bit of editing.


The breeze was like a flowing wisp of cloth that hit her face, whipping it sometimes violently, other times more of a gentle touch. She could smell the ocean air. Salty and sticky and warm. Warm wind, as the sun retreated into the ocean, disappearing so the moon could make its presence known. Grains of sand whirled about when the winds grew more intense. Otherwise it was just a warm summer afternoon on the beach, the air cooling as the sun disappeared, taking its warmth and light with it. She wondered when the sun would return. She wondered why it had to leave her in the dark, lonely and cold.

She fiddled around in her purse looking for a snack. She wanted something savory but knew she would be lucky if there was anything edible in her purse beyond a mint or chunk of gum. As luck would have it, there was a half-eaten protein bar (chocolate and peanut butter) and a cherry lollipop she’d absconded from her trip into the bank last week. It was a rare thing to go inside the bank nowadays. It was as if the her from last week knew she would need a variety of snacks in the week to come, so set itself to head to the bank for some unknown task and take a lollipop or two to enjoy later on.

She sighed, relieved that there was something to eat. She had no idea how long she’d be here on the beach, hungry and alone, but for now she had something to occupy her time. She opened up a water bottle and took a long drink. Just whetting the old whistle for a bite of protein bar. She took the bar out, unwrapped the wrapper which stuck to the bitten portion of the bar, and took a bite. It was hard, as it had been in her purse for a while and had gone a bit stale. Still, it was somewhat tasty. She followed up the hard bite with a swig of water, then took another big bite. This bite was softer, clearly the hardened bitten portion of the bar had been protecting this part of the bar the whole time, like a mother hen hiding her chick beneath a protective wing.

She nestled into the sand, wrapping her long skirt around her legs. She looked down at her toes which she wiggled in the sand. They got dusty. She leaned back, all the way, yes even her long dark hair would get into the sand and get full of the tiny granules, but she didn’t care. She took another bite, and another drink, and watched the sky turn to fire as the sun set over the horizon.