the beach

~Flashes of fiction~


Patrick is a man of many forms, but today, as he walks from one edge of the earth to meet the ocean’s welcoming frigidity, he is but a man. His lungs expand, filling themselves with the same essence as those around him now inhale, allowing the scent of the sea to inhabit them.

Chirps of distant cheering children skate across the surface of the waves just before they tumble against the shores subtly displaced sand. He moves to walk along the edge of the shore, “oh, excuse me…” the girl’s blackened lips parted slightly as her densely eye-lined eyes filled up with a common courtesy, “No problem.” He moved past her, but the remnant of her similar nature resounded in each mull of a wave’s displacement. Even goth girls go to the beach…

He walked as another being, a tanned man with broad shoulders, a defined physique, and unconcerned eyes, trotted passed. He turned to watch the man pass a few girls who cutely chattered as he passed. A screeching child darted into his path, stopping his observation. “Phoebe! Wait for me!” Her mother now moved passed him giving a simple smile as she went onward towards the little version of her.

The place around him seemed to be motion itself, yet it fueled his calm, a dense pulse now pushed him to sit atop the sand. The occasional “Shark!” would echo out, but no shark would ever be active. The sun’s high throne topped everyone with a layer of its rays allowing for the general white population to turn a nice shade of pink.

“Excuse me… You’re my history teacher from high school… don’t you remember me?”

He looked up into the young woman’s face and smiled warmly. “I’m sure… Oh! You’re Amy!” She smiled at his enthusiasm that was now mirrored in hers. She nodded and gestured, “May I sit?” He nodded in response.

“So this is how you were always such a calm teacher… and why everyone enjoyed your classes.”

“You still remember me so it must be true.”

“Of course… Hey you remember a guy named Tommy?”

“What does he look like?”

“Here…” She ruffled the items in her bag to pull a phone from it. Her hand held a picture of him. He smiled and nodding, a memory of the classroom clown clowning his way to the principal’s office in many of his other classes, but his antics had always been a welcomed comic relief to the density of history lessons.

“Well… he died. Yesterday he was hit on his way home and…” Amy’s words stopped as she choked back an apparent rush of emotion. Something clouded him, pulling him from the sound of the waves and the squawks of the guls.

“I am so sorry… He was an amazing person.”

“How do you know that.” She almost snarled with the response. He smiled softly.

“He was one of my favorite students…”

The words seemed to settle somewhere deep inside her eyes. She pooled like the waves her clear eyes now reflected. She let slip the emotions one by one. He turned to look out at the ocean, feeling somehow displaced by each wave.

He was one of my favorite students… Tommy. 

The waves seemed heavy as they released their weight and gravity’s upon the surface of the earth. The screeching children and echoing seagulls seemed harsh. The glint of shine from the spiked choker of the goth girl seemed a bit too much for the noon time’s sunlight. He sighed, closing his eyes. The sounds gave him something simpler to ponder.

He was an amazing person. Gone or not… Yes, he wouldn’t continue to affect the people around him, but the people had affected him were here now… On a beach, surrounded by life itself.

Patrick… A man of many forms now watching a beach and appreciating life. Realizing that life itself was and is and always will be beauty.


~may your breath always be the way you wish~


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