A Night in the Sand
Romance Short Fiction
It was the time of day, ripe with indecision. The sun was still peering over the horizon, and sunglasses or headlights were both viable options. The sky dripped color through the levels like nature’s easel with swirled pinks and based light blue hugging the tree line, almost forced down by the weight of purple and the celestial night sky.
With the hard top removed from Jason’s 1992 Ford Bronco, he and Grace flowed down the street. The sound of music played as the wind surrounded them, making any conversation impossible without setting their voices to drill sergeant level. Sand covered the floor, and sprang forth out of the carpet interior with every rustle of Grace’s bare feet. Her bikini straps showed from under the tank top, and faint tan lines were covered by sun bleached hair, still wet from the saltwater. Her one hand rested in her lap, clutching her phone and wallet, while the other was as far as possible from the door, free to rise and fall with the winds discretion. She turned to look at Jason, only to meet his gaze for a second, and with a crooked smile sent her sight towards the sky.
Jason reverted back to the straight road ahead of him, the night had just began to win, so he raised his sunglasses to the top of his head and switched on his headlamps, returning both hands back to the steering wheel. The smell of dying sea life pushed across their cabin, and both wrinkled their noses in distaste. “Oh God, that’s bad!” Grace yelled.
“Whew, you ain’t lying.” Jason responded, “It’ll go away quick enough.”
“What?” Grace removed her hand from her nose and leaned in toward Jason.
Jason reciprocated, “IT’LL GO AWAY QUICK!”
“I HOPE SO!” Grace shouted, then re-secured her nostrils with her left hand, leaned back towards the door, and thrust her other hand back out into the wild. Jason lingered, and slowly fell back into his original position with two hands on the wheel. The last words spoken until the two reached their destination.
Hours later Jason pulled off the road into a tiny parking lot, with a sign labeled “Beach Access.” The two climbed down from their seats and met at the tailgate, each retrieving their respective beach chairs from the rear. Jason searched a little longer to find a single blanket, and stowed it under his arm. They traversed the dunes that blocked their way, ups and downs, each hill increasingly difficult, until they met the flat beach that kissed the Atlantic. “I think here is good.” Jason stated.
“I agree.” Grace smiled and proceeded to construct her bed for the evening.
“You know, I brought the old blanket from our first date, if you wanted to lay…….”
“That’d be nice.”
Jason spread the blanket out and the two lay down in parallel form. They discussed their relationship, and the issues that had been plaguing them. As the hours passed and the stars changed, Grace slowly fell into Jason’s embrace. The two held each other until they both succumbed to the night’s trance.
The next morning Jason awoke alone on the blanket, in a haze of comfort. Grace was on the edge of the ocean allowing the water to cover her feet, and bury them below the sand. “Did you want to go for a swim?” Jason asked while removing his shirt.
“No. I think we should probably just head home.”
Jason stopped just before the break, paused and turned back towards the dunes. They packed up their things, and climbed the ups and downs back towards his truck. After putting their chairs and blanket in the rear, the two sat into their pre-determined seats. Jason fired up his engine, and pulled onto the long road ahead. The smell of rotten sea-life crossed their cabin once more, to Graces familiar sound, “Oh, God that’s bad.”
Jason responded, this time with a hand out the window and one on the wheel, “Yeah, I think it might linger.”
more by ASHTON KNIGHT
photograph by Jordan McQueen