• Vol. 04
  • Chapter 12
Image by


I’m playing that children’s game, Grandma’s Footsteps, with the sea. I lie on my back with my toes pointing towards it, eyes closed against the sun. Every few minutes, I sit up on my elbows and look, feel the tug of my stomach muscles. It’s creeping in, the waves washing closer each time. Unlike the game, I don’t find its gradual approach unsettling. There’s a gentle breeze, the call of seabirds. I tune out the tide’s white noise.

I feel the cool water at my feet. It siphons the sand away under my heels, shivers my calves where it touches. I look up with a start as it shocks my lower back. The sea is an arrow, its tip pointing at me, staking a claim. To my left and right I still see dry sand. I’m pleased it wants me.

At last, it lifts me, I’m floating with arms outstretched. The water fills my ears and I hear the distant hiss of stones shifting on the seabed.

As it carries me out, I smile, think of a suitcase, hotel room, a job, a game I always lost on purpose.