This is the first thing I am aware of: the sky. The hot summer sky, pounding in my ears (or perhaps that is my heart). Fiercely, blindingly blue. From my vantage point, the world looks starkly surreal, as if it is an old film photo, developed in the wrong setting. My pale skin glows like polished marble as the waves shape the beach. The sound of their snakelike give and take of the burning sand makes me shiver and laugh at the same time. Blood, excitement, and fear pound through my lightning veins that pierce the sky. A shrilly shrieking call sounds from the far away waves. My legs bunch and curl, pulling the rest of me up on my rough towel, which is half wet from the imprint my body leaves and half dry and sandy from the fearfully bright sun. I squint in its light, half-raising my hand to shield my eyes from the reflecting flickers of fire that dance and churn on the crests of the salt-less sea. Tiny figures run in place two miles out; maybe less. The sun is blinding me, making it hard to tell. But the call sounds again, happy and breathless, mixing with the push and pull of the weedy-green waves and the rushing of the wind that catches the strands of my hair, desperate to pull them over my face. One more call is all it takes, and my dark glasses are pulled off, the still-open page of the book half unread fluttering in the breeze and the words watching me sprint away across the scalding sand, in the stark sun, under the fierce blue sky. Perhaps later.