Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Wednesday, December 26, 2012 -

The Beachcomber

by Lucy Appleby
Published: Dec 26, 2012
Words: 6,179
Category: general
Orientation: M/F
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He ducked his head as he came out of the low door of his cottage - one of a row of brightly painted, red-roofed fisherman's cottages that nestled shoulder to shoulder, flanked from the northern gales by the lofty crag above. From a distance the cottages appeared to tumble down the steep cliff side to the seafront below.

The late afternoon September sun shone on the sweep of golden sand and glinted on fossil filled pools. He never tired of wandering along the tide line of Runswick Bay, especially off-season when the tourists had fled from the blustery north Yorkshire winds to find warmer climes down south.

It was low tide, and the beach was deserted save for the gulls as they wheeled through the sky and skimmed the surface of the sea to bob comically on the eddying waves.

He set off along the mile-wide bay, a fossil-seeker's paradise. Head down, his honey blonde hair topped with a baseball cap, he walked on the damp sand, leaving a trail of solitary footprints in his wake. Anything of interest or possible use found its way into the big canvas bag on his shoulder. One of his more satisfying finds on a previous occasion had been a large rubber-soled gents slipper. He had pounced on it, cleaned it up, and dried it out on the top of his wood burning stove, and tested its stinginess on the derriere of a former girlfriend. But there were no spanking related finds today, so the canvas bag began to fill with an assortment of unusual shells, ammonites, and a curiously shaped piece of driftwood.

It had been raining heavily earlier, and the force of the downpour on the shale and clay land had caused the cliffs to crumble a little, revealing more fossils. He prized them out of the rock carefully with a rock hammer and pocket knife, and added them to his growing collection.

Moving further down past brimming rock pools, he noticed something at the waters edge and set off towards it, thinking it might be more driftwood. But as he drew closer it became apparent that the driftwood was in fact a figure crouching down in the shallows. She was hugging herself, rubbing her arms as though she were cold. Indeed, if she stayed in the water for much longer she would more than likely get hypothermia.

"You ok?"

He moved closer. She had long dark hair, plastered around her shoulders in wet clumps.

"Y.y.yes - I mean"

Her teeth were chattering with cold and her lips had a faint bluish tinge.

"Get the hell out of there, woman! You'll freeze to death."

"I c.c.can't," she said, and gave him an anguished look.

"Why not?"

"Because ... because ..."


"I daren't come out. I lost my bikini bottom."

Greg snorted. He tried hard not to laugh, but couldn't suppress a big grin. The woman scowled at him. Poor thing. She must be frozen stiff.