_Beach_

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short story about an experience on a beach during that magical period right before sunrise, when it feels like you are the only person alive.

Submitted: December 15, 2008

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Submitted: December 15, 2008

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 Waking before the others I slowly pull on a pair of shorts and wipe the sleep from my eyes. I weave my way carefully through the maze of people, careful not to wake them after the night of debauchery. Stepping out onto the cool sand, I pick up a light jog. The running comes easy this morning, as if I am still dreaming. As I crest the first hill, a chilly breeze hits me full in the face, jarring me back to reality. The sky is a light purple color, tinged golden at the edges, the last remaining stars blinking out as the morning comes.

The dry beach grass brushes against my calves as I follow the path into a stand of pines. As I am engulfed in darkness, the air suddenly becomes colder. I speed up, anxious to leave the darkness behind and see the sunrise. I make a quick detour around a fallen tree, the massive trunk spanning the width of the narrow path. As I break out into the light again, the path angles up to the crest of the hill. I am heading for the highest point on the island. The sandy path is worn through the grass from my countless morning runs. The running helps me to clear my mind, to mull things over before the day begins. Breathing heavier now, the trail begins to get steeper. The wind is a little stronger up here, as sand stings my chest as I climb higher still.

I reach the top of the hill just as the sun is peeking over the horizon, transforming the ocean into a glittering expanse of gold. I stop and stand at the edge of the dune, watching as the sun chases away the last remaining vestiges of the night. A balmy breeze rustles through the grass, mingling with the sound of the waves on the beach. This is the reason I come here, for that one surreal moment between morning and night, when it seems that you are the only person to witness this sunrise as the rest of the world sleeps.

Making my way down the hill, I see a small wisp of smoke in the distance, a white smear across the serene blue of the morning sky. Realizing that breakfast will be served soon, I break into a sprint, hoping to catch some breakfast before it is eaten.

Nearing the cabin, I see people returning from their own morning rituals. We all deal with the isolation in different ways; some seek out the constant contact and company of others, while some withdraw from the group, savoring the brief moments of solitude that are available during the early morning hours.

Stepping gingerly onto the rickety stairs, warped and weathered by countless storms that have washed over the beach, I am anxious for the warmth and company of the group. The boards creek underfoot as I step onto the porch, announcing my arrival. I nod hello to some, and hug others. We sit huddled around the smoldering fire, tattered blankets draped around our shoulders as we quietly converse in the still morning air. I sit in silence, listening to the others plan their days.

Shuffling over to Michelle, I lean in close, my lips lightly brushing her ear. I softly whisper good morning to her. She squints in the early light and smiles, leaning up and giving me a light kiss. She accepts the cup of coffee I hand her wrapping both hands around the steaming mug. I am happy, content in knowing that right here and now, everything is good and right in the world.


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