Scene: a beach at sunset

Philip Lawrence
1 min readMar 3, 2022
Photo: Amadej Tauses on Unsplash

A car pulls up along the shoreside and a man in a suit and tie slides out to find the sand. The beach has quieted. A few surfers paddle hurriedly out to sea for a last run in the twilight.

An older couple stands by the water’s edge. Wisps of the woman’s gray hair flutters above her, caught in the ocean breeze. The lifeguard station sits quiet, the small, whitewashed house perched on reed-like stilts shuttered for the night, though the sand is still warm from the afternoon sun.

The man rolls up his pant legs and removes his socks and shoes and places them beside him. He shields his eyes from the splintered sun’s rays as he scans the water clear to the thick black line of the horizon.

A young woman, flaxen-haired, a surfboard cupped effortlessly at her side, the bridge of her nose tinctured white, emerges from the waves. Wet-suited, bare-footed, head tilted skyward, she hikes along the sand, her day’s work done. As her shadow lengthens over him, the specter causes him to glance downward. A few grains of sand have clung to the tips of his polished shoes. He decides to leave them.