Flash Fiction presents… “A Beach in Winter”

The warm wind that once wrapped itself around you like a comforting blanket has long gone – emigrated South with the birds and replaced by bitter, cold gusts intent on pushing you away. Light spray or heavy drizzle? It’s hard to tell; the sharp, salty tang lingers in the air and lasts on the skin. Thirst comes from licking lips – water, water everywhere, but not a drop to drink.

Wrap up warm to brave the elements; it’s good for the constitution. “A thick jumper and a sensible coat is what you need!” Mum always used to say. “A hot flask of coffee, someone to share it with and a march, not a walk, won’t go amiss…”

Indecisive weather makes good company for nature’s wintery palette. Some days the light grey rises up to meet dark grey, on other days it’s the opposite. But who’s watching? If a wave crashes on the shore with no-one around, does it still make a sound? Maybe the white gulls know the answer as they flit and swoop over the high tides searching for an ice-cold snack.

Lonely and sad at the lack of attention, nature’s play continues with its’ daily shows. No bronze, tanned, fair-weather friends anymore, it now makes do with shivering dog-walkers and out-of-their-mind joggers.

Now the show has finished and the tide recedes for an intermission. Fishermen descend with their spades and their buckets stab at the sand in search of wriggling life. Stab, hack, stab, chop – don’t they realise the beach is already dead?


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