by Mel George
He spluttered and spat the salty, wet sand out of his mouth, only to run more of it through his hair with a shaking hand. He wondered briefly if he was trembling with exhaustion, or with the cold and wet, or with the fear. He dug his fingers into the sand, but it gave no purchase; as though struggling through mud he heaved himself up onto his elbows and stared back out over the sea. A lightning flash suddenly ripped apart the darkness – for only a split-second, but perfectly clearly, it etched in stark black and silver the peaks of every breaker; the distant cliffs away to his right; the other ships so very far away. He counted six whole seconds now before the thunder followed. Six numb, sick seconds – the lightning would have shown her swimming.
Mel George, author of Individualists in Uniform, makes the tea and corrects people's grammar for a living. She would like to hear from you at The Pygmy Giant if you are British and like writing things.