He lowered his hat over his eyes, doubled his fists in his pockets, and hunched his
shoulders to shield himself from the violence of the wind. It slashed every bit of naked skin, leaving a bitter sting of iodine and sand on his raw lips and on the scars covering his hands. As he contemplated whether the sea worsened the power of the wind, or if she too had to endure the cruelty of his jabs, the waves nibbled at the velvet beach, whose fabric had been tousled by the bustle of the wind, and the countless feet stumbling back and forth. He drew up-close, and noticed the voracious appetite of the tide, as it wandered off before leaping back to swallow everything in its wake. Junk had collected into a mishmash of dark matter, and as the sea covered and uncovered it, burying it under the sand, the lines of a human body became clear.

The stillness of death, numbing her every limb.

She had planned a sacrifice to whatever divinities prone to receive her body; at dawn, the heat of the sun should have released her soul from its cage, consuming the flesh her imagination had bound to the sand, tying her wrists and ankles with threads of iron circling in and out of her flesh, revolving around her spine, digging deep into the puddle of mud huddling beneath, around, and over her.

Yet not even a bird came up to chew her insides. No lightening, no sign of divine fury in
troubled skies. Gods had lost all interest, and turned their heads away. It was probably worse a punishment than she had imagined. The sky had merely been spitting thin rain all afternoon; now she could barely feel anything. The tide was rising up; obedient to its own nature, it paid no attention to the body it was swallowing.

As he discerned her presence, he ran towards her as fast as her terrible idea, gulping down blows of air and mouthfuls of rain.

He suspended his run.

Today is no day to be a hero.


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