Warm sand glowing gold. The bright early summer sun; flashing faces. White cloud drifts across the clear blue sky, over the sun. A shadow falls upon us, me and my smiling brother. The breeze off the coast feels cold, but the cloud passes and warmth returns.
The ice cream cones are flecked with colour – green, red, blue. My mother and father read boring books while we play in the safety of the yellow sand, building castles, digging holes and burying one another. The sand gets colder the deeper we dig, but there is comfort in the beach’s embrace.
We see faces in the dark grey rocks, but stay well away. We watch from afar and trace the features in the air with our fingers. “That one looks like daddy!”
Racing down to the water. The sea crawling onto the shore, creeping bit by bit. We run from the waves. Daddy and mummy don’t let us in the sea alone, but they’re still reading their boring books way up the beach. My brother steps into the shallows, stands, smiling. He paddles on, a little further. The wave comes and he is gone.
I’m screaming now and everyone is staring. A man carries my brother from the sea, lays him down on the sand. He’s so pale. My mother is holding me now, crying. She holds my hand so tight it hurts. The man presses my brother’s chest. The fear in my father’s eyes is the most dreadful thing I have ever seen.