Gather up to the hearth, folks. It's serial story tellin' time.
Over the next few months, I will introduce you to you some new characters in a familiar setting, all with the hopes of providing you with some decent entertainment, while getting you all comfortable with my writer's voice.
I will cross post this story over at the Beyond Elsewhere Live Journal community, where I will also offer up some writer's commentary in between segments. The intent is to give readers some behind the scenes views of the writing process, as well as answer questions that might logically come up in the course of putting forth this effort.
If all goes well, this will be a twice weekly roll out. Comments are welcome.
And so, without any further yapping, let's get this thing going...
Sunrise on the beach, with a twist, was well within Page’s style of leisurely living as of late.
The twist wasn’t necessarily the adult beverage she held in her frail left hand, nor was it two suns that began to emerge from the horizon, or the deep purple waters cascading against the pale blue sands below her blanket.
The twist today was that she alone.
Not just alone on the beach, but on the planet itself. And maybe, it was quite possible that her solitude extended past the twin-star system, or even in that part of the galaxy. There was no way to be certain as she was without any specific technology to confirm anything beyond her sole presence on the shoreline.
To be sure, there were certainly other forms of life around her. Variations of avian and aquatic beings flew and swam in the distance, while exotic flora and fauna dotted the majestic mountain ranges to Page’s rear view in the distance. It would have made for a wondrous landscape portrait, had the woman bothered to bring a camera with her.
It was by choice that Page sat alone on the beach, soil very alien to the place where she came from. Mere hours before, faint starlight from the yellow sun that lit her home world could be barely seen in the sky, admittedly with some external assistance from a fairly powerful telescope.
But no visual aids were available, and no interest in seeing that part of the universe currently existed for Page. She was finished with the company of her fellow man (and the occasional baggage that seem to come with it), and wished nothing more than to be left alone.
Page felt ancient, worn out. Depleted. The years had finally caught up to her, and she was beyond the means and the desire to fight back the sands of time any further. All that remained was a fitting end to it all, and she was determined to do so on her own terms.
The suns rose without incident, an affirmation that some things do not yield to change so casually.
A smile passed on her face, the first time one had done so in quite some time. And with said smile came a small torrid of tears, heavy with emotion and finality. As the distant balls of gas and flame continued to rise into the morning sky, she mustered some strength to raise her glass into the air, gesturing to make a toast toward the ocean ahead.
“Bravo,” she managed to say after clearing her voice.
Meanwhile, mere meters away from where she sat, the waves started to pull back, almost as if on cue, revealing more of the wet sands previously covered by ocean for quite some distance. The silence was unmistakable, save for the distant birds whose sounds were indistinguishable from the light southern winds that provided some measure of warmth to the woman.
Finally, on the horizon from where she saw the suns rise mere moments before, Page saw something new.
It appeared suddenly and with some measure of velocity and presence, easily explaining the recent water displacement. It was a wave unlike none other. No, much bigger, more substantial than the ones the woman had seen over the course of a lifetime back on her home world. Already darkening the points in the sky where the suns once occupied, the wall of water grew closer, gaining even more speed and height and substance.
It was a tsunami that had no equal in Page’s collective memories, and it was barreling in her general direction.
Accompanying the force of nature, an ominous roar of water could be heard, growing louder with each passing second. The volume was enough to drown out all other sound save for the now collective gasp that emerged from Page herself. Even from the distance where she still continued to sit, Page could tell that it was much bigger than she ever imagined, with heights that would easily eclipse the highest peaks of the mountains some distance behind her. There would be no escaping the inevitable collision of water and person.
But wasn’t that why she was there in the first place? Were her preparations prior to that moment not geared with a conclusion in mind that was now becoming more of a certainty? There was no cavalry at her beck and call in which to summon. There were no transports she could possibly access before being consumed by the seemingly apocalyptic waters traveling toward her at unspeakable speeds. This was going to be it – the end, period, end of paragraph.
For the sole person on the beach, now mere moments away from assured extinction, she was relatively serene about her pending demise.
Taking what would likely be her final sip from her glass, Page decided to close her eyes to the monstrosity in front of her. Savoring the taste and swallowing slowly, she felt more at peace than she did in a long time. Page had a decent run in life, with few regrets to haunt her soul.
She began to hum an old melody she had once heard years before when the fury of ocean obliterated the shoreline, sparing nothing in its wake. The tsunami continued on, racing past kilometers of land, submerging the mountain tops, moving on without pause or recess.
It would be some time before the waters retired back to their original stay, some time before the beach became recognizable again. And when it did, there was no evidence of anyone ever being on the pale blue sands in the first place.
The suns would continue to rise every morning, only now without benefit of any sentient being around to observe them.
NEXT TIME: "Eyes Without a Face"
Copyright 2010 by Bryan E. Wicks. All Rights Reserved, as well as any lefts. Theft is not nice, but spreading the word about this work is okay. ;-)
Revision History: 20110102 - Spell change of word (many thanks to "Sharp Eyes" rowangolightly!); HTML adjustment of copyright notice; inclusion of this edit!
20110105 - Modification of paragraph (h/t to Editor-At-Large Extraordinaire pistos)