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Short story <i>At The Beach</i>

I love going to the beach.

The sand, the salty tang in the air, the crash of the waves against the rocks and the break, the shrieks of gulls, the quiet chatter from the sun tents, towels, hats and thongs lining the beach.

Children run, covered in sand and coloured zinc, wearing frills and pink, sub bonnets, hauling buckets and spades and shells and piercing the air with their laughing.

I'm not at the beach for them.

Middle aged couples lounge, oblivious to the hustle, pale skin turning red, flicking through sand-drenched paperbacks, crunching on sand covered fruit, sleeping behind sunglasses.

I'm not at the beach for them.

Teenaged girls lie, in groups of three or four, tanned and brown, wearing tiny bikinis, rubbing lotion on each other's backs with an innocent eroticism, staring up through sandy lashes with flirtatious promise, expectation of admiring glances, with silent knowledge of how pretty they are.

They look up at me with contempt and scorn.

I'm not at the beach for them either.

I pull my hat down further over my nose, and pull my shirt closer. I shuffle through the sand in my polyester pants and my black sand shoes.

My detector beeps loudly, and one of the middle aged couple glares up at me. I dig in the sand.

Two dollars.

My day has begun.

This is the result of a fifteen minute writing exercise. The only constrictions were the time limit and five randomly selected words from the dictionary. Today the words were: contempt, lotion, promise, expectation, and agreement.

Image courtesy of JulienNarboux.

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