The Beach On Tiragell
K. A. Williams
Previously published in issue 28 of View From Atlantis on July 3rd 2021
Twin moons illuminated the beach. When clouds briefly blocked the light, I could still hunt seashells because they glowed in the dark. I had my choice of the biggest and brightest ones because not many other people were on this stretch of beach far away from the hotels.
I was thrilled when I found a big green and blue striped shell. I picked it up. It squirted wet sand into my face and squelched. The device in my ear translated, “Throw me back in the ocean, you alien!”
I wiped the sand from my eyes and threw the bossy thing out to sea. After that I made sure the shells were empty before placing them into my bag.
I could hear the surf and something else too. I pulled zooms from my pocket and focused them on the water.
Little merpeople were riding waves in toward the shore and jumping off before they hit. And laughing. I watched them surf until they returned to the depths of the phosphorescent ocean.
As I pocketed my zooms, the sand heaved nearby. Suddenly a creature popped out. It looked like a giant lizard and headed straight toward me.
There was nowhere to hide.
I was scared until he spoke. “Aren’t you the one who asked the desk for a midnight pickup? I’m Jathorg, your ride.”
Then I noticed the saddle. “I can’t breathe under the sand. You’ll have to travel above ground.”
“That’s all right. Get on.”
I slipped my bag full of precious seashells over my shoulder, climbed onto his back, and hung onto the saddle horn as Jathorg ran toward the hotel.
I was booked on the next transport for home and would really miss the beach on Tiragell.