It was another day of overcast skies and pallid early morning light.
They left their house before the sun could be considered as having risen and walked down to the rocky platforms the waves continued to break against. The tide was not too high and so it was an easy trip to make. Of course, regardless of the tide it always was; there were plenty of ways to go, but it was always appreciable to them when they could walk by the water.
Various crustaceans scuttled here and there, looking for food whilst avoiding danger. They kept on walking and took notice of their little movement and it was something they liked, though perhaps not with the wonderment they once had.
Along the rocky platform they went and followed its relative flatness. It was an easy walk and the sound of the ocean was something almost soothing to their ears. It allowed for a lot of thought, of which a lot was introspection, but when walking in this particular area it allowed more for focus. The platform was mostly safe to walk when the waves weren’t lashing across its surface but attention still needed to be paid. There were plenty of times when injury easily avoidable came close to occurring and so they knew better than to not keep an eye on where they were heading.
As they walked they looked into the various puddles of water and wondered when they’d become rock pools. It would happen over time and likely well after their own, but they still hoped that they’d see some of the transformation sooner rather than later. Various gastropods and algae were making an appearance in some parts and, even though it might not have been noticeable then and there, over time some change would at least be visible. The area was in a constant state of change, trying to find a balance and they were just there to witness a small fraction of it, or at least were able to.
After a while they got around the underside of one last cliff and made their way down to a beach, of which was one of many on their relatively large island. In a few hours there would probably be some activity here, though more for the purposes of work than recreation. Right now they had it to themselves and so they could appreciate it a bit more. Whilst appreciating the closeness to the waves, going this way meant less of a chance of going past someone else who was awake and would offer to join them. Of course there was always polite refusal, but sometimes they didn’t want to worry about speaking with others and have their whole world to themselves.
They sat there, watching the waves and seeing the sky become less dark but no less dulled. There was a crisp cold that hung in the air and the waves crashed against the sand with some violence before quickly retreating. Some reached further than others but none could make it the whole way. Based on how strong the waves were they suspected there had been a storm far offshore recently, and they wondered if any other villages experienced the full brunt of its force.
Soon, however, the waves seemed to die down, or at least relent in their assault. They lowered and lapped at the grainy mix of sand. Perhaps it was the tail end. The storm mustn’t have been that bad.
As they sat there someone they knew appeared next to them. No one was heard approaching and so it took them by surprise, but they immediately knew who it was. They stood up and asked what this person was doing here and who they were. They knew who it was, but only as a reflection as it was themselves, though also not.
A seemingly disembodied voice reached out into the air’s cold, though it also sounded firmly there and firmly like their own and it asked what they were doing there themselves. The answer was obvious, or at least it seemed to be, but they provided no response. Vague phrases and cryptic wording came forward which left more questions. It seemed sinister and menacing, and it spoke with clarity and sharpness.
Words regarding changes and who one was came forward; words that seemed to manifest as physical form even though there was none. They conjured imagery and vague omens about what was and what was not, and they fell on ears that wanted to remain deaf.
Gradually the waves picked up in their ferocity once more, as though this figure was abetting the ocean’s rage and wrath, and their words sunk deeper as they pierced through flesh and bone to reach for the heart. After a pause of silence, however, the figure uttered the words “Well, time’s ticking” before they disintegrated into the wind.
They stood there, stunned and confused by what they had experienced and what they heard. They understood and parts they knew, but together they knew not what it meant. They stood there as the waves calmed down and they stood there, trying to process the experience.
The calling of one of the other village residents broke them from their spell and they wondered as to just how much time had passed for the sky was much brighter now and pockets of blue began to pierce the overcast haze. They had to keep moving for it was a busy day of exploring and learning and they needed to get on track. Research was not going to do itself.
They returned the greeting and headed up on past the person and off to a more well-walked path to the lab they worked for. It was a small one; at least, relative to the ones in the cities but it was also one that had a good team that worked effectively.
The day ahead left them to busy to think about their encounter, but it was one they were unable to forget.
The time it took to write one thousand words: 23:52:78
Longer than I’d hoped but that’s fine.
This is really rough and that’s also fine. I’m trying to feel something out at the moment which involves a bit of worldbuilding. I’m not sure if it’ll work and this will end up being abandoned if it doesn’t, but maybe it will. As such, this is just a draft and I’ll probably expand on it at a later date. We’ll see.
Written at home.