Flash: Sunset Ocean

freedigitalphotos.net (note – I changed the image from blue to red)

The ocean turned to blood and seethed as night fell. The gentle lapping waves of warm water, which had comforted Dylan’s feet as he followed the empty shore, transformed into crashing sprays hammering him and twisting currents sucking him into the heartless sea with each step. He had walked far from home, escaping meaningless condolences and unwanted sympathy. His own thoughts had chased him further than the five piers with the summer tourist traps, further than the sharp rock jetties built to protect expensive beach front properties from winter storms. To the end, where shore and sea fought the uneasy alliance man imposed on them elsewhere. A place neither earth nor water.

Black clouds were rushing in, their bottoms reflecting the setting sun’s crimson rage, gray streaks of rain and sleet underneath backlit by constant lightning. Deep thunder reverberated in his ribs.

Shelter was distant. Ease and comfort moreso.

Dylan had fled the house before lunch to avoid the next gathering. The morning’s activities surpassed his breaking point. He hadn’t been able to release the fist-full of dirt into the six-foot deep rectangular pit. The soil, now mud, still gripped in his right hand.

With a scream he threw the ball of mud into endless water.

Dylan shivered as wind pushed the dangerous storm closer. Stepping forward to embrace the front’s arrival, he accepted the just punishment of the fuming, foaming water against his unwelcomed intrusion. Each wave crashed higher on his legs. His jeans, rolled to his knees to keep them dry, swiftly saturated, bringing the cold raised from Poseidon’s depths to Dylan’s core.

He found the icy chill more truthful than the soothing warmth the sea had offered earlier.

The sun disappeared in a green flash, revealing the sea rising in a cone to meet a vortex descending from the clouds.

For a second, Dylan considered staying. And then a second more.

Only the thought of his passing inflicting this level of pain on another coerced him to retreat from the storm’s challenge and promise. To turn back from an ending.

(words 343; originally published 10/9/2013; republished 8/5/2018)