Friday, January 8, 2016

Free Fiction: Winter By the Ocean

I don't have anything else written for this, but I love this opening. I feel like it could be a much longer story.

It had been a long time since Dylan had taken a vacation. His leave bank at work had topped out and he'd been forced into a use it or lose it situation, so he'd made the decision to actually take time off from work. He'd been feeling burned out and listless, going from dawn until dusk, and beyond, and grinding away, so since he was planning to be out, he decided to go big. He had four full weeks of vacation planned.

His boss, although not particularly pleased, understood, and Human Resources backed him up. Apparently not taking more than forty hours of leave within a five year period put him into a high risk category. Everyone wanted him out of the building for a while.

Dylan had researched various locations. He'd studied glossy brochures and glitzy websites. He'd read travel blogs and looked over numerous articles. He didn't want to go anywhere crowded. In fact, if Dylan didn't see anyone at all the entire time he was out of the office, he'd be a very happy man.

In the end, he'd chosen to rent out a beach house. A beach house in the winter.

He'd pulled in to the driveway yesterday, with his car loaded down with clothing, food, and books. It hadn't taken long to situate his meager belongings in the giant home, although the house itself was anything but barren. Every room contained furniture, all the closets were crammed with sports equipment, and pictures hung on every wall. The family that owned the house obviously loved being there—they just loved it in the summer, when the weather allowed them to play and relax.

In the winter, the water frothed cold against the beach in the back, and the ground limned in frost. Nobody walked the length of the beach during the heart of winter, leaving a barren canvas of blank sand, and Dylan liked that just fine.

On his first day in the house, he turned the heat up to make it cozy and brewed a full pot of coffee. He scouted the entire house, and found the enclosed glass porch on the second floor to be the most likely place to rest with a book. Dylan intended to do nothing more than read, eat, sleep, and occasionally exercise. The fewer times he left the house, the better.

It was cool out on the glass porch, even with the access door left open to the main house. A small heater was available, and Dylan plugged it in and twisted the dial to maximum. Dylan had worn a soft sweatshirt with a hood, which he'd pulled up within five minutes of settling down with his book. After an hour of reading, his hands were cold and his coffee colder. Dylan put his book aside and stood up to stretch.

He looked out through the glass at the ocean and admired its deep, dark blue color. Sea foam skimmed the top of the water as the waves grazed the shore and retreated. Dylan yawned and considered a nap, even though it was barely the middle of the morning. Then he spotted a blob of red, and narrowed his vision on a man walking the beach.

Dylan frowned, disappointed that even on the first day another person had come into his sphere, even if in the distance. He watched the man walking as he came closer, and closer.

Dylan frowned again, this time with concern. He'd noticed that the man was barefoot and walking through the edges where the water met the land. The man held one hand to his head, and it looked like blood dripped through his fingers and down to his elbow.

Dylan took a moment to make his decision, assessing his own safety before offering aid. He'd learned that the hard way, and had no desire to repeat the lesson. Then he turned and left the glass porch, headed down to the beach to give assistance.

No comments:

Post a Comment