Friday, May 27, 2016

Free Fiction: Winter By the Ocean, Part III

Not a very long part, but I did get back to this.


After Saph left, Dylan tried to return to his reading. He brought his cup of tea upstairs to the enclosed glass porch and settled down. His book was there from earlier, waiting to be picked up again.

Dylan had an electronic reader and he used it frequently when at home, but something about the feel of a real book in his hands seemed more appropriate for a vacation. The reader stayed off, at least for the time being. He'd loaded it with a few books that he meant to read, but the other books came first.

But right now, even with the heat turned up and the feel of paper pages beneath his fingertips, Dylan couldn't focus on the words. His mind kept straying to Saph.

What had the man been doing?

Dylan didn't get the feeling that Saph had been engaged in something troubling. Rather, the man just seemed closed up and unwilling to share. There had been a pinched look to his face and a tightness in his voice, and certainly a stubbornness in being unwilling to answer questions straight on.

Not that Dylan felt his work details were any business of Saph's. Dylan had a bit of that stubbornness, too.

Still, there was a feeling that Dylan couldn't quite pin down. Saph had been doing something out there that was more than just a jaunt up and down the coastline. It might not be any of Dylan's business, but it raised his curiosity.

Dylan put his book down and picked up his mug of tea. The ceramic was warm against his hands although the tea itself had cooled down. It was tepid when he sipped it. The cooler it got, he thought, the longer ago his encounter with Saph.

He gazed out the windows at the sea. Saph had been quite focused on having a view. Not quite jealous. More like he was appreciative. Or even more like Saph was drawn to the water. He had only pulled his attention away from it when absolutely necessary. It had seemed a bit odd.

Dylan put the tea down and stood up. He walked to the nearest glass and put his hands against it. The glass was cool against his skin and Dylan could see a large swath of beach in front of him. It was empty. No one walked the beach in this weather. No one except perhaps Saph, but there wasn't any sign of Saph on the sands.

That was what Dylan had come here for. Quiet. Rest. And the total absence of needing to deal with people.

He closed his eyes and counted to five. Then he pushed off the glass and returned to his seat. Thumbing open the book, Dylan focused on the words, and this time he lost himself in the story.

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