Hazel Bentham walked down to the sea with the man she was soon to marry. It was a little before two in the afternoon. The full heat of the day was a weight they carried over the broad beach. The baking air veiled the view and the dark sand, hot as embers, dragged at their heels. In front of them, the waves fell white and cool against the stretching blue ocean.
When they finally reached the water its touch seemed like life itself, like youth and promise, and the foaming surf like flirtation against their skin. The two of them laughed in the tumble of the waves. She didn’t notice when the wraith-like current took hold of her, and in just a few heartbeats the rip swept her away, beyond the arms of her man and far further still.