Moving Forwards part 8

Rodger is sitting in a beach chair beneath a parasol. The parasol shades his face and torso. Outside the shade the strong sun warms his legs right through. In his hand he has a cold glass of beer. The condensation droplets run down the glass onto his fingers. Somewhere someone is playing a flute.

He takes a sip of the beer. Ice-cold, lovely. The sand below his bare feet is burning. He digs his toes down through the scorching part to where it is cooler. Fine grains shifting between his toes. The music is still there.

He glances up and down the beach. There is no one nearby. The music seems to come from somewhere across the water. Is there a boat out there? He rises to his feet, takes another sip of the beer.

The sand of the beach is so light it is almost white. The colour reminds him of something. White. But the memory eludes him, and as he tries to clutch it, it slips between his fingers like the sand between his toes. Oh, well, it was probably not important.

He walks to the edge of the dry sand and gazes across the blue sparkling water. Now that he is out in direct sunlight, he is even more thankful for his cold beer. He takes another sip. There is not much left. Sweat runs down his back.

He approaches the waves. The music is nice, beautiful even, but he does not recognize the melody. It really does seem to come from somewhere out there, but he cannot see a boat or anything else someone could sit on.

Some of the waves roll quite far up the beach. He jumps away from them, smiling, plays tag with them across the sand. Sees how long he can stand still without his feet getting wet. He laughs. Wipes his damp hair from his forehead.

Perhaps he should just paddle a bit. After all, he has bare feet and he can roll up his trousers. He steps onto the wet sand. Into the water. Stumbles. Arms flailing. Falls.

The cold water slapped him in the face and he got to his feet spluttering. He was knee deep in cold grey water. The flute was still playing somewhere out there. He scrambled onto the beach. Coughing. Shivering. Even now he felt a strange tug from the music. He shook his head. Slapped his cheeks.

‘You’re awake now,’ he told himself, ‘you’re awake.’

Then he looked up at the island.

‘Oh, God, no,’ he said.



This is part 8, read part 1 here:

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