The tide washed up upon the white sand, eroding away the footprints of the blessed. Accompanying it was a dry wind, lacking any compassion in its harsh bellows. The long grass shook in the wind's unmerciful grasp, whispering to any listener to save it from being broken in half. Swirling in a ceremonial dance, the sand moved from this place to the next on the shore, not caring about the other grains it left behind from its unannounced transport. Water-- salty, bitter, but clear and turquoise water-- receded and returned, barely even sparing time for a bubbling wave goodbye, but merely leaving a lace of its fresh scent behind. Even that preciousness was taken away by the wind.
A conk shell, resting at the ocean's side, blared with a low siren, like a warning of approaching danger. Seagulls, perched on the frail dunes, scattered towards the sea, never to return to this shore again. A crab scurried across the dampened sand, making its way with its bubbly eyes stretched out to their fullest reach, a watchful eye on the shore. It crawled into its reclusive burrow with a last glance out onto the untouched, sunset kissed shore.
The distinct crunch of footprints shattered the mirror of our world. The rush of the sea, now louder, screaming for the intruder to leave the shore be, washed up closer to the towering dunes and shivering grass. The wind's howl swam over the land and through any cracks and crevices its innumerous eyes could find to magnify its haunting cry. But the footsteps grew closer… and closer.
The ceremonial dance of the sand ceased, the crab's eyes were closed, hidden in his burrow, not wanting to see what might become. The beach, as suddenly as it had been invaded, became silent, not even the swell of the waves left a noise in the air. But, the seagulls, now far from the shore, were crying for justice and the grass was screaming for mercy. The sun had just lowered into a dismal looking horizon, a symbol of the seashore's hopes for an untouched world.
The crab opened his eyes once more only when the crunch of footsteps had stopped for a time. But, the creature only witnessed a pair of comparatively large feet, covered in stolen grains of the white beach. The feet held still for a period of time, and from above a seagull gazed upon the silhouette of a young girl, staring out to sea. A lantern, barely bright enough to attract the spirits, was being clutched in her delicate hands.
Her lips had moved as the girl whispered the name of her love, holding the lantern far from her body. She waved it around, and as she did, tears reflected the light onto the shore. Once again, the girl whispered his name, this time a bit louder, a bit more desperate. A bit more destroyed. She stood staring at obscurity for a period of time.
Shaking the lantern angrily in her hands, the girl yelled out to the silent ocean, "Give him back to me! I want justice! I want mercy! You took him, oh beautiful sea, and I want him back by my side," by now, her voice had been reduced to mere whimpers between sobs, "Give him back to me, please, give him back to me, oh beautiful sea."
The ocean merely responded with a roar and a receding trail of bubbles. The girl stared momentarily at the ocean once more then looked back towards the now nodding grass, urging her, whispering to her Go on, do it. A pair of young eyes stared once again out into the endless sea. The anger that had quickly came, quickly left and now a feeling of ultimate emptiness was palpable in the pit of the girl's stomach. She felt her heart shriveling away, like the grasses that had once lived without the taint of salt in their roots. The tears she cried could have even been thought of as the creation of this wide sea on their own.
A cautious--almost fearful breeze circled around her, and with a frightened quickness, combed through her dampened hair. She could feel it pushing her towards the beauty that the ocean had to offer, pushing her towards the underwater mysteries that had yet to be questioned by man at all. She could feel it pushing her towards her love. She could almost see his figure out in the deep, blackened waters.
The grass spoke to her once more You need it. You need us and with a sudden longing, the young girl could feel the addiction of the salt in her blood, the tide beating her heart in the center of her body, the relaxing pulsation of the receding tide calming her veins and arteries. She needed the arms of the sea to hold her tightly so that she would feel loved again.
And then… and then she saw him. Standing, knee-deep in the water, was her love, her one true love, his arms held out for her, his eyes glittering as brightly as the sun would upon the moving water. His bright smile was visible through the darkened night, "Come back to me, darling. I love you." She could almost hear him say it as his lips moved in the distance.
The wind slapped her harshly. See the real world! Wake up out of your dreams you lovesick fool! The slap hit the young girl hard, and for a second, she had hesitation that the man calling her out in the sea was not her love. But, a second later, she knew in her heart that it was truly him, calling her from beyond the grave to come join him in the bubbling, electrifying life that the sea had to offer.
With finality, the young girl dropped her dim lantern and walked diligently… willingly almost-- out into the fresh, silent sea, a smile painted upon her face as she ran to accept her love's embrace. However, when she arrived at his arms, she was met with the force of an icy wave and a view of the shore. There he was, standing there with her lantern, calling her name.
The separation is inevitable, were the girl's last thoughts.
As the moon rose higher into the sky, the tide washed up upon the white sand, eroding away the footprints of the damned.