The first thing she noticed was the water. The shadows were directly underneath each thing, or rather, underneath her since she was the only thing in sight. A sun that would show up as overexposed in cameras made the sand start to sizzle.
Her eyes raised towards the sky. It was cloudless and robin’s egg blue. A wind pulled her hat, a floppy straw one, back. She caught it at the last moment by her fingertips, watching the yellow satin ribbon twirl in the stifling breeze.
A call sung from overhead. A shadow passed over her head, delivering a deliciously cool shadow for less than a second. Raising her white palm to shield her eyes from the blazing sun, she saw the faint outlines of seagulls flying overhead. They called out to each other, raising their voices in one lonely orchestra.
Her eyes started to dart about. The images were fuzzy and crackled along the edges. They zipped from one image to the next, moving throughout the ages. Once upon a time there was a castle here on a large hill that had eroded after. There once was a town here with teenagers clinking spoons as they dove into a shared sundae. Then there was a great fire, burning everything to the water’s edge. The remains crumbled and were washed away into the tide, becoming one with the sea once again. Throughout this, the tide was an infinity–always there and always pulling everything back eventually.
She walked into the frothy water. It was warm and a turquoise water that felt like cool silk against her ankles. She walked into the tide, holding her breath until she could no longer. Her hair fanned out around her in a crown, and she inhaled.
She breathed under the water. A seahorse, one large enough for her to ride, swam up to her. It was a magnificent tan seahorse with small stripes, contrasting against the silk water. He nudged her shoulder.
She found a piece of seaweed–green silk–and fashioned it into reins. She got up onto the seahorse and rode him away to discover the secrets of this sea.