Friday Fictioneers – Down By The Sea

(Author’s note: Not much to report. Here’s today’s great work!)

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© Roger Bultot

Down By The Sea

by Miles H. Rost

“Oi! We’re goin’ for brekkie. Wanna go?”

Laying out in the ever increasing light of the morning sun, Paul was at his glory. He gave them a shake of the head, as he continued to tan.

“That’s on you! It’s gonna be a ripper.”
“It’s going to be over 40 today. I want to get my sun before staying inside and roasting.”

The boys all just left, as Paul took in the sea air that came up from Port Phillip Bay. He loved the morning, when it was sunny but still cool.

This was rest time. He wasn’t giving it up.

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Friday Fictioneers – Jigue

crook-building

© Sandra Crook

Jigue

by Miles H. Rost

Tension as thick as whipped cream.

At the Ballarat Estate, the annual charity Chess and Pie Ball were underway, and the pie competition was fierce.

15 contestants, and the time was at hand for the final results.

“The winner of the Chess and Pie competition for this year is…”

The envelope opened. The bright face of the chairwoman turned glum.

“Angus MacDonald and his Scotch Pie…for the 12th year in a row.”

Angus laughed, and started to dance his jigue.

“HALT!”

Angus looked back, and saw Constable Barklay with handcuffs.

“The jigue is up. You were caught stealing that pie.”

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Friday Fictioneers – Taking This Town (Again?!)

(Author’s note: Hidiho, neighbors! Currently training my replacement in anticipation of a new position coming up. In the meantime, doing my duty with putting a Fictioneers up. This one reuses music that I’ve used before, but I think it’s appropriate. Enjoy!)

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© C.E. Ayr

Taking This Town (Again?!?!)

by Miles H. Rost

 Melbourne.

City of culture, finance, and interest.

The 20 students snuck in overnight, flying into Tullamarine Airport, looking like smiling tourists. They walked past immigration, past the taxis, onto the nearest train platform. They smiled as they got on, and in unison, looked out the window.

As the trains eventually pulled into the Southern Cross Yards, each of the students looked towards a blonde haired girl with Chinese features.

“We have been selected for a great future. We are the future of Australia’s education.”

The train slowed to a stop.

“Time to take this town, girls!”

They rushed out the doors, onto unsuspecting businessmen and college registrars.

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Friday Fictioneers – Walls

(Author’s note: Things have been quite busy this week. Bad experiences abounded, but good things are to come. Week 6 of uni has almost come to a close, and there’s another 7-8 weeks left to go. But, some big stories will be done soon, as I will need time to just sit and write and detox from writing essays. You all may be recipients of the work. Anyhow, here’s today’s Friday Fictioneers, with a bit of Australian flair involved.)

© Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Walls

by Miles H. Rost

“What’s the number on this one?” Senior Constable Alistair MacKaye asked.
“Looks like this is the fifth one,” his partner, Constable Jacklyn Brandt replied.
“And I’ve been called out here six times in the past month.”
“I don’t understand, is there something about this place?”

Alistair just gazed at his young charge.

“Jackie, do you know anything about icehouses?”
“Nah. Never heard of them back in the bush.”
“It’s a nuthouse. They like the walls. Sometimes they climb them.”
“And then?”
“Some of them fall off.”
“Isn’t that a travesty?”
“Eh, I don’t mind the walls. They keep us safe.”

Friday Fictioneers – Tunnel of Love

Today’s Friday Fictioneers is a simple mini-story that I came up with while on a walkabout in downtown Melbourne.

© Stephen Baum

Tunnel Of Love

by Miles H. Rost

It was called the “Tunnel of Love”.

It was said that a couple could walk through the Macquarie Station tunnel, and after coming out the other side, they would have a child 9 months later. Just like magic.

I saw it in my childhood friends, Alistaire and Ophelia. They were enemies, and both about the legend when they chased after each other that fateful June afternoon.

I saw them running towards it, and I called out to them, “Don’t go in…” And yet, they did, running all the way through.

9 months later, they were enemies no more. And they’ve been that way for 20 years now.

Here I stand today, looking at the demolishing of the station and the tunnel. The legend lives on only in those who have passed through the fabled halls. And me, the only one too chicken to do so.

Angel In The Snow

Angel In The Snow
by Miles H. Rost

The Witch of Winter. Snow fairy. The Winter Wife. Yuki-Onna.

She was called many different names from the time of her youth, referred to in legends. She was one of many, but not as many as others. She wasn’t a monster,though, like what many people thought.

Her skin was a beautiful alabaster, her hair nearly crystalline in appearance. Out of the sun, it looked a beautiful strawberry blonde color. She was dressed in a shorter yukata that came down to the knees, colored white, with broad and wide sleeves, along with a salmon-colored sash across her waist. To the uninitiated eye, she would have been described as a young, teenaged beauty.

However, to quote Bob Dylan, “The times they are a-changin’.” With the internet, more people found out and knew about the legend of the Yuki-Onna. As a result, more people were scared, or were fascinated but didn’t do anything about it as human instinct is to avoid things that mean death.

She remembered hearing about the stories from her mother. While there were many who took to the traditional way of freezing their mates to death, and joining them in whatever afterlife there was, she wasn’t one who would do that. She was different, and to her kind, an outcast. She wanted what the humans had.

She sat on a cliff, overlooking a lake that was thawing. She sighed as she kept thinking about her love, whoever he was. She looked at the melting snow,  a sign of the springtime that was to come and the summer that would be tough. She thought about leaving her native land, going to a new land where she may be more accepted. She heard about the Australian snow fairies, who make their homes in the highlands of the east coast; and even the Rocky Mountain Yuki-Onna, the rare and yet most striking of the snow fairies in the mountains of America and Canada.

She didn’t have the income to move, however. Because of this realization, she slid further into her reflections. She sighed as a slight chilly air flowed from her mouth into the air.

She heard a slight crunching behind her, and she immediately shifted around to see who was coming. She waited, patiently, hearing the slow movement of rock and the groaning of someone who sounded quite masculine. Waiting patiently, she sat placidly as the form of the newcomer came into view.

The man was brown-haired, young, and a slight bit overweight. He didn’t look unhealthy, but he could easily shed a few pounds if he so chose. He reached the overlook where she was and sat down.

“Hello there, love. Looks like…WHOA-!”

He looked over the lake, the beauty of it all flowing into his eyes and piercing his brain. The deep blue of the lake, contrasted with the grayish white of the melting sheets of ice, and the deep, dark green evergreen trees that blanketed the landscape. The sun shone in rays and peaks from around the needles of the trees, creating a near-kaleidoscope effect to a person’s eye.

In the young man’s eyes, this was intense beauty. He smiled broadly, as he pulled out his expensive camera and started taking shots. The young beauty sitting close to his feet was in awe at how engrossed he was in the scenery, many thoughts and questions running through her mind.

“You…like nature?” she asked him.

He looked down and grinned.

“Absolutely! I have never seen or experienced such beauty since I look out from Cape Blanco in Oregon, in the USA. This is the essence of Japan, and I now have a piece of it for my memories. Now, since I’m done gushing over nature’s beauty, how about you?”

She looked down, demurely, trying to hide the embarrassment of having this foreigner’s attention on her.

“The name’s Tom. Tom Bishop. Cairns, Australia.”

Her eyes lit up and she smiled, broadly.

“Australia?! Is Cairns anywhere close to snow?”

Tom looked at the young lady and smiled.

“Nah. Snow is farther south. Down in the hills around by Melbourne and Canberra. Cairns is tropical. Which is okay, because I don’t really like tropical places. What’s your name?”

The young yuki-onna bit her lip as she looked at him.

“My name would translate to Yukiri in this language. It’s hard to pronounce my actual name in your language.”

“Well, Yukiri, I am very glad to meet you. It’s not everyday you see someone who is beautiful surrounded by beautiful nature.”

She sighed, and a wan smile towards the compliment.

“If you know more about me, you may not think I’m so beautiful. Many times, people even think I’m a real monster.”

Tom looked at her, squinted for a few seconds, and gave a little chuckle.

“Everyone has a little bit of monster inside. The most pious of people have that, or there wouldn’t be something called “the human condition”,” he said, while looking out at the placid lake, “There are men and women out there who appear to be normal, but who are murderers and thieves deep down. They show kindness to the world and hatred reigns in their hearts. If you think you are a monster, then obviously you haven’t seen how some humans can be.”

Yukiri looked at him with wide eyes, not realizing that for even a moment that someone would state that some humans are worse than her. She quietly looked out at the lake, serenity perceived, and a tear started to fall down her face.

“Tom, what if someone told you that they were a real monster. Like a monster from legend, or someone who was unbelievably different that it would make you question everything you know?”

Tom looked down at her, and gave her a sideways smile. He crouched down and his smile broadened.

“Everyday, I question what I know. It’s not because I think God’s wrong, or that I’m wrong, but it helps me to realize that there are things I can’t explain out there. If you told me you were a real legendary monster, it’s likely I wouldn’t believe it. But, after a while, when I think about it and pray over the idea, I might change my mind.”

He sat down, dangling his legs over the edge of the cliff, and he reached over to touch her shoulder. Yukiri started to pull away, but then relaxed as the warm hand lightly gripped her shoulder.

“God has shown me many things in my life. He’s shown me the greatest highs and the greatest lows. He has shown me beauty unimaginable in nature, and he has shown me true ugliness. If you’re asking me whether real life monsters exist, then I could say yes. But again, the question we should be asking is, ‘What is the true definition of a monster?'”

Yukiri eyes started to tear up heavily as Tom continued to speak to her.

“Yukiri, beauty and monstrosity are in the eye of the beholder. I know of women back in Oz that are beautiful as can be in their looks, but their personality is absolutely horrific to the point of revolting. I also know of women who are not 10s in their looks, but have some of the warmest and most beautiful hearts imaginable. When you find a balance, that’s where perfection comes in.”

She launched herself at Tom and buried her head in his shoulder, cold tears soaking into the microfiber jacket that he wore. He looked down at her, and he didn’t know what to do.

Do I hug her? Do I ask her what’s wrong? What’s…does she really think she’s a monster?

After a minute of sobbing, the icy tears soaking through Tom’s jacket, she pulled away slowly and sniffled.

“You made me feel…like a human, Tom.”

Tom put up his hands and laughed nervously.

“Hey hey…I’m no saint here. I’m guilty of being a monster myself at times.”

Yukiri smiled at him as he attempted to deflect the compliment with self-deprecation. She put a finger on his lips and smiled.

“What I mean is this, that your words make me think that there is hope for someone like me.”

“What do you mean?”

She looked him in the eye, and took a deep breath.

“Well, what I’m going to say may be hard to believe. You’re talking to a real live legendary monster.”

Tom cocked his head to the side and raised an eyebrows, as if he was saying, “Go on…”

She stood and revealed her true face, which was a little bit wider, with what looked to be sharp saw-like teeth. She raised her hands, which were now a deep ice blue, the fingers looking like sharp, razor claws.

“My family are snow fairies. We are Yuki-Onna. In legend, we are accused of leading men to their death.”

Tom’s eyes widened, but as Yukiri looked into his eyes, she didn’t see fear. She saw what she only could describe as amazement.

“You….aren’t scared?”

Tom blinked, and reached for her icy claws. She started to recoil from the touch, as if to cry out “Don’t touch me!”, but he was quick enough to put his hand into her claw.

“Your hands are ice cold. It’s like dipping my hand in a blast freezer. But…I can still feel a bit of your skin. It’s like grooved ice.”

Yukiri smiled, showing the razor teeth in her mouth. She wasn’t showing malice at all, and she felt like Tom was receiving that message in his mind.

“Yukiri, I want to know more. You’re a new being that I never knew existed, but a testament to the greatness of the God I serve.”

She morphed back to her human form and smiled, knowing that this was something she hoped for.

“I’d like to know more about you, Tom. And the God you talk so highly about…”

 

Lady In White Pt. 2 (aka Close Enough)

The Lady In White (Part 2)
(aka Close Enough)
by Miles Rost

She invaded my mind again. The sight of the  Lady in White upon my mind has been a relief, and a worry yet still. It’s been months  since the last time she visited me.

In my mind, we were on a boardwalk, a cement waterfront “street” if you will, in Melbourne. I was walking toward her, and she walked toward me. As we drew closer, it was like a camera got closer to us both. After a few close-ups, our hands finally met. She immediately moved over to my shoulder and laid her head down. She felt so warm and looked so lovely, even if I couldn’t see her face.

For a time, we just stood there, my lady in white trying to get in as close to me as possible, and myself wanting to hold her tighter than ever. She leaned up towards me, her skin slightly glowing in the muted sunlight, and gave me a kiss. A gentle, but long kiss. I remember the sensation, like two lightning bolts jolting through my body and a warmth on my lips that permeated all throughout the upper part of my being. It felt like we were floating on air, traveling through the air like a hot air balloon. As we released, we looked back out at the bay…and found ourselves on the steps of the Opera House in Sydney.

I looked down at her and saw the incredible amount of love that permeated from her. It was a beautiful sight of sparkles, flowing pure light from her entire being. It flowed from every pore, every fiber of hair, and washed over me. It wasn’t lust, the red wave of passion that many men and women envision when they think of their chosen other. It was a love that was pure, that forgives everything and heals. The type of love that God has for all of us. She had that, and it poured like transparent sparkly white ribbons over my being. She looked into my face, my eyes, and she gave me a smile that said “I don’t care what you’ve been through, you’re with me. Let it go.”

She turned around and held onto my shoulders as I put my head down on hers, able to relax and feel so much love flow between us. We just looked out at Sydney Harbour, seeing the calmness of the bay. The sun was fully open, and the white dress she wore glowed like snow on a mountain. It was nearly blinding for most people, but for me, it added a glow that was almost angelic. The wind was light, and it flapped the cloth of her dress like a flag. It felt like this was where I needed to be, where I wanted to be forever, and to never go away again.

A gust of wind picked us up and, unlike before in Melbourne, it whisked us off quickly. Like a kite, we flew through the air in a quick way. It felt still, however, as we traveled to wherever this wind was taking us. As quickly as it happened, we landed on a flat Australian beach somewhere, an overcast sky making things a little colder.

She looked back up at me, and put her soft, gentle hands to my face. The soft skin lightly brushed the growing scrub of hair on my chin, and the warmth of them felt like a glowing incandescent light bulb. I felt a tear start to fall from my eye, and I suddenly collapsed to me knees. She fell with me, as I felt the warm tears flow from my eyes onto her shoulder. All the tears of pain, anguish, hurt, released from my eyes, from my being onto her skin. I knew she was strong enough, but this was remarkable that she was able to take all of this pain and anguish, and simply wick it away like oil into a towel. I felt the blackness, the greys of my emotional heart, slowly being pulled from my self.

She pushed me back slightly, and looked into my eyes. Her eyes, of which color I could not remember, communicated unconditional love. Believe in Christ’s love in me, my beloved, they seemed to say, as she comforted me. All that went through my mind at that moment was who this woman was, and how God could make her to be so strong and so forgiving. So loving, that she would be willing to take that pain and shame I had and totally remove it, and still gaze into my eyes and say things without words.

She moved to me again, and pressed her soft lips onto mine. As I realized I was slowly starting to wake, I remember feeling that softness of her lips still pressed upon mine.

I don’t know who she is. I can’t see her face, I only know that she’s the lady in white. What I do know, though, is that she is a woman of unimaginable grace and beauty, of true godliness and forgiveness. I pray that I can meet her. Soon.

 

The Beginning of Something New (aka “Supernova”)

The Beginning of Something New
(aka
Supernova)
By Miles Rost

New feelings were always so hard to understand.

Coming out of a mentally abusive relationship was not one of the plans that Mayumi Shiomi had in mind for the weekend. She hoped to have done that earlier in the week, so she could heal over the weekend and not have to deal with the crying she would ultimately do at work.

The 22-year old was finally able to say goodbye to the abuse she took. Seeing her old boyfriend leave on his motorcycle for the other side of Australia was a relief for her. Now that the hound was away, “The Fox” was likely ready to play.

She looked at herself in the mirror quickly, but after a few moments looking away from the mirror, she decided to take an inventory.

Ah need to do this, she thought, Since the old baka won’t be back in West Penfield, Ah have to see what’s left.

The large bathroom allowed her the comfort of being able to walk around and not worry about being in an enclosed space. She made sure of that when she bought the new townhouse. With all the room , she would be able to get a good view of what she looked like now.

The young woman looked at herself in the full length mirror, hung delicately on the wall close to the shower. She ran her hand through the short, incredibly light brown hair that she wore. It was a good look on her, seeing as she kept it since the middle of high school. It also helped her when she had to deal with drinking a bit much, as having too much hair would mean vomit smell constantly.

She gazed at her reflection, the face that people called a “Kitsune” face. She didn’t care much for her nickname of “The Fox”, but she was willing to live with it as it did adequately describe her normal, everyday look. At least, what the look used to be before she was involved with the baka. She did have beautifully colored hazel eyes, but they rarely were seen as she had a constant squint to her eyes. It was part of “The Fox” charm that people knew.

She analyzed the rest of her visage, noting that her body still had the curves that she inherited from her Australian mother’s side of the family. She was definitely a beauty, and she knew it. She knew that guys would look at her and immediately fall at her feet, even knowing that her reputation kept pointing to the phrase “Dangerous Curves Ahead”. She did a slight wiggle, and smiled.

Yep, ah still got it!

She drew a breath, as she pulled a chair to her. As she sat down, she looked in the mirror, directly into her own eyes.

The hardest part of her analysis was about to come.

She was fine on the outside, but she needed to take an inventory of her inside. She needed to look at her mind, her spirit, and the wholeness of her being on the inside of the beautiful shell.

“Alright, Mayumi, how’re ya doing?”

She looked at herself as she waited for her spirit to answer, while her heart blazed a thousand words a second describing how good it was that she was free of the bastard that hurt her. She snickered that her heart would be the first one to send off the signals of relief. Her spirit would be the one that she would need to focus on, as her relationship had gone on for very long time.

“Are ya ready to get movin’ on with life?”

Somewhere within her spirit, a peace that was indescribable finally appeared to her. It was like it was saying, “You will be healed, be free.”

Her mind, however, was the one that raced through a million possibilities about why things would go wrong. Her mind, the one part of her being that just would never shut up. It was where the biggest attack on her would come from, and she knew this was a possibility.

She looked at herself in the mirror again, leaning forward in the chair to get a closer look at her face. She knew she didn’t need the baka, but everytime she tried to quit him, she’d always go looking for him again. She never realized that a lot of her problems surrounding him were less about her and more about a part of her past that had since been rectified. She realized this, and said the only thing that she could.

“Lord, ah think it’s time for me to get livin’. Ah need your help to get through this.”

It was the best prayer she could think of, seeing as she was now able to be restored to a condition that would be perfect for her.

She was about to continue analyzing herself when she heard a loud buzzing sound. She forgot about her phone, and the alarm that was set for 5PM. She had two hours to get over to Shine FM, a relatively new radio station broadcasting to the suburbs of Sydney, including West Penfield. The job she held, for such a long time, was one of the saving graces that helped her in the dealings with her baka boyfriend.

“Time for this girl to get herself on the air,” she said to the mirror, putting on a smile that would show that “The Fox” was back on the stalk.

Today was the first day of her new life, a new air of freedom. She would never go back to that baka again, and she would most certainly spend a lot more time on the things that she loved.

“Lookout, world. Ahm back!” She said, giving her reflection a wink.

The Lady In White (Take Me With You)

The Lady In White
(aka Take Me With You)
by Miles Rost

I’ve seen her before. In the recesses of my mind, when I haven’t been paying attention, she’s there.

It usually starts the same way. I’m doing some sort of work-related task, maybe grousing a bit, or I hear a certain song. My mind drifts off to a beautiful beach. I assume that I am on a beach somewhere in the Southern Pacific, somewhere like Australia. That seems to be where my mind drifts off to, lately.

I’m on this beach, and I see this woman in front of me. She’s grabbing a hold of my wrist and forearm, laughing and being playful. Never do I see her face, but I do see what she wears. Each time I have the dream, or vision, she’s always wearing the same thing.

She wears a white cord-knit sweater, a slight bit bulky but not too big. Big enough to hide things, but not enough to make it a true mystery, even though most times the dream is a bit fuzzy (like when I don’t wear my glasses.) The sweater is a long-sleeved one, and reminds me of an older style of dress. She also wears a pair of white pants. I’m not sure if they’re jeans, capris, thin material, or whatnot. They show her curves off, but not so much as to make her look like a Kardashian or Mitsune Konno. Finally, she wears a pair of white canvas shoes. I know that they are because I cannot perceive holes anywhere on the shoes. It would also fit the idea of beach attire.

Strangely enough, I never see her face. She seems to have long hair, but I’m not sure what color it is exactly. It could be brown, black, or even red. But never do I see her face. It’s always obscured, or blurred out like one of those pixelated pictures to hide a person’s identity. Always a bit frustrating, but hey, who said dreams and visions weren’t a challenge?

The first part of the dream or vision, as I said earlier, is her pulling me along the beach. I can feel the salt in the air, and I can see that she is laughing. Apparently, she’s either wanting me to see something, or she’s just happy that I’m there. It’s in slower motion, but I noticed that she’s trying to keep me close as we stumble down the sandy shore.

Each time I’ve had the vision of her, it’s been a bit different. The first time I had the vision, we were as said above. But in later ones, she’s always been in my mind. Recently, when going through the final processes of giving up an addiction from which 20 years descended, I saw her in my dream. She wasn’t pulling on my sleeve. The air about her seemed to be serious, but with loving concern, and she gave me a thumbs up. It seemed like she was saying “You’re gonna make it through, and I’m here for you.”

Other times, I’ve had more than one dream or vision in sequence. The other dream is of both of us on a porch, looking over a hilly meadow and a tree that has afternoon autumn sunlight peeking through the browning leaves of the tree. She’s laying against my shoulder, while I hold her gently. We just sit for hours as the sun falls below the hills off in the distance.

I keep wondering about this lady in white. It feels quite a bit like one of those bad anime where a boy makes a promise to a young girl that they will be together and get married, and they move away from each other for 15 years or so, and meet up again to find that they’re different…and yet, so alike.

There are so many different possible explanations to what it could be. From wild and creative ideamaking, to a personal prophecy, to inter-soul communications, there are hundreds of explanations.

But I realize that sometimes, an explanation is not the thing that one needs. Maybe, just maybe, one may have to enjoy those fleeting moments in your own mind. If it turns out to be true, then all the better…

Tradewinds

by Miles Rost

Salt and pepper.

The sands of the beach reminded Dennis of salt and pepper in his shakers at home. The fine and nearly bleached white of the sand mixed in contrast with the deep dark, almost charcoal-like black sand. Strewn in patterns like old growth tree rings, the sand was a testament to the changing of the tides.

Dennis had arrived at the beach a couple hours before sunset. He carefully laid his blanket atop the ebony and ivory sands, and pitched a bright, almost beanie-like umbrella next to him. A small, blue cooler lazed next to his arm, one side of the cooler open and displaying a tub full of nearly clear-blue ice and frosty bottles of his favorite beer. A cold bottle lay cradled in his left arm, like a newborn baby awaiting the full display of golden colored awesomeness inside it’s glass shell.

The hair on Dennis’s apple-shaped head was thinning. The years of work allowed the gray and white to start seeping in, dark wrinkles showing themselves like folds of clothing on his face. His face was leathery and aged, but he still showed the kindness in his eyes that he inherited from many generations of people. Capped off by a pair of dark blue wraparound sunglasses, his deep blue eyes pierced the skies and aimed straight for the sunset in the distance.

He shifted positions on his blanket, the white cotton of his t-shirt moving ever so slightly as he tried to relax.

The time was almost near, and as the warm trade winds came in from off the ocean, he focused on the gigantic orange orb of light and power in the far skies. Like a slow-motion play of a basketball as it approached the basket, the sun creeped towards the horizon. Dennis opened the top of the bottle of beer just as the bottom of the sun reached the horizon. He lifted the bottle upwards and flipped it, letting the light amber colored liquid flow from the bottle, into his mouth and the taste buds that awaited the moment. The sensation of cold quickly spread throughout his body as the sun continued to descend.

He looked out on the bay and saw a variety of different craft that , while playing many hours ago, were now focused on the spectacular display of light. The different colors of boats were no longer seen as the entirety of sky and sun were bathed in a deepening orange. By this time, the sun was already halfway below the horizon.

Dennis flipped the bottle again and took a long pull from it, letting the beer drain into his gullet. As he finished the bottle, he looked out at the sun. All but a sliver were gone. As the sun finally descended, he sat back and watched the last vestiges of sunlight disappear below the horizon. He sighed, knowing that the next one was merely 24 hours away.

He slowly packed up his things. Taking the bottle, he put it on the other side of his cooler and shut the lid. He picked up his blanket and folded it into very neat and tidy squares. He walked slowly up the path next to where he sat, and to his waiting car 25 feet away. Once he arrived at his car, he put everything into the trunk and pulled out a tuxedo. Attaching the tuxedo to the rear seat of his car, he got in and backed out. Taking one last look at the horizon, the orange color of the sky was starting to turn reddish and purplish.

He turned on his headlights, and didn’t look back for the rest of the night.