The sun was warm on my face. The sand stretched alongside me; decorated with broken shells, debris and forgotten footprints. The debris lay around as though it had been thrown over somebody’s shoulder in disdain.
I could taste the salt – the bitterness – blowing in the tired wind and I could hear the lost cries of the sulking gulls and the echoes of happy laughter. The waves sparkled and glittered playfully, splashing over my bare feet.
I picked up the curved and twisted shell at my feet. I placed the shell upon my patient ear and I heard the magical voices of a thousand years. The eerie mystery hanging in the sand dunes burnt my nose.
My eyes rested on the warm sunset sleeping serenely on the sea. There are no words to describe how I melted into that sunset, but I did and my heart leapt from my chest, soaring in the rich colours. My skin tingled with warmth as the vivid hues caressed me.
I felt as though I was drifting through the vibrant shades. The colours twirled at my touch and smudged delightfully as I smeared them. It was a beautiful moment.
Gently, I began to spin and I closed my eyes in pleasure. The warmth was inside me, pulsing and singing soft lullabies. The strong shades of the sunset began to fade gradually – slowly, softly, until there was only black.
It did not matter whether my eyes were open or closed; it was just the same – as black as the key to my dream-filled imagination. I began to worry, somewhere in my brain, if I was blind or dying, but the peaceful feeling filling my body hushed the slightly anxious voice. I glided into a tranquil state of mind; an unperturbed trance.
My eyes must have been open, because I could see words beginning to appear. Pictures and music filled the spaces. It was exquisite. I was enveloped in vivid dreams and vibrant ambitions like a jubilant dolphin swimming in a sunset sea.
There was, however, an irregular bubble of emptiness that my memories did not fill. I found this intriguing and, as though I was hypnotised, I edged slowly in the direction of the space. I extended my arm, my hand shaking slightly. My finger-tips just brushed the edge of the black.
At some trice in time, it occurred to me that the black was not mine to touch. Perhaps it was when the colours vanished and the warmth ceased to exist. Or, perhaps it was during that moment when I was falling. I do not know when, but that is irrelevant as the what is very important. I was a thief. A delinquent. A trespasser to a unique secret.
All this time that I had been revelling in the colours and absurdity of the whole situation, I had been intruding the sun. I had accepted the wonder in awe, with no thought towards the sacredness of where I was and what I was seeing. I had dared to touch the sun’s jewel; the sun’s precious darkness.
I do ot know if I was still falling, as I could not feel anything. I was numb. I could hear a faint ticking noise, though. It was strangely familiar. Steady. Soft. Strong. Soothing. My heart matched the pace. Nine. Eight. Seven. My chest rose and fell. Six. Five. Four. The noise became louder as, slowly, my world became more real and clear.
Three. Two. One.