When the sun rose she was still wearing the nightdress. It was the old one her gran had let her use when she visited as a child; a pattern of reds and pink that belonged in an era long gone. It had always been oversized but it fit now. She had been surprised when her gran had pulled it out of the same drawer that it had always been kept in.
With the sun now beckoning the world into its heavy grasp, she tiptoes further down the rocky shore to reach the water. All she wanted was a rock that had the waves washed upon it. Her gran used to tell stories about the sea, about its magical properties. If someone wanted to harness the magic all they needed was a perfectly smooth rock, one washed in sea water was better. She would spend hours scouring the rocks for the perfect one, but had never found it.
Her feet brush the edge of the water and she bends down, trying to look between the small caresses of the waves. Slipping her hand under she runs her fingers along the rocks attempting to find the perfect smoothness that she had never managed to.
Unlike when she was a child and had been able to leave the beach with nothing, this time was different. She thought of her gran, still sleeping, up in the house that overlooked the beach. She probably wouldn't be awake for awhile, and even when she did wake she may not leave the bed.
The sea, her gran always used to say, has taken many lives and must repay it somehow.
Her hand brushes against a rock, one that feels different to the rest. She pulls it out, watching as the water drips from it back into the sea. A small rock, no bigger than a coin, but its face was perfectly smooth. She knew to believe in the magic of the sea was foolish, that it was just a story her gran had made up to entertain her but now she had other choice but to dream.
With the rock firmly clasped in her fist, she pulls her feet from the water and back onto the shore. Tiptoeing across the rough rocks and stops at the edge and turns back to the water. She smiles a thank you to the sea and the lost lives; the rock with the sea's magic never leaving her hand or her dreams.