The track came to an end by the beach and turned into a sandy path through the dune grasses. I carried on across the dunes. The bay, not so far from the city, felt lonely and isolated. The sea crashed in on the rocks. No sign of human habitation was present.
The track dipped down to the rocky shore and crossed a small sandy stream. The waves washed gently into the mouth of the stream, pushing against the current. I started to cross the stream. My feet stuck in the soft bottom. I couldn’t move. The waves came further up the stream, the tide gradually rising. I was stuck fast as the water grew higher and higher.
The waves were getting higher and I was sinking deeper. The water was soon up to my neck, with waves about to crash over my head. A wave caught me on the face, warm and wet, licking me from mouth to nose, smelling on stale breath.
Jessie stood, paws on the side of the bed, trying to wake me. I rolled over to try to sleep again, but she pushed at my back, whimpering. Reluctantly, I got up and pulled on my sweats and trainers and took her out for her morning walk.
The dim dawn light hardly penetrated the autumn fog, shrouding the hills. We wanted down the path through the trees, not seeing more than three or four feet in front of us. The branches hung ghost-like in the misty air. Damp drops clung to the ends and dripped on our heads. The birds were slowly waking up, their songs muffled in the misty morning.
Suddenly, it ran across the track. Furry, white, brilliant and shining with iridescence. Jessie took chase, pulling the lead from my hand. I called, “Stop, Jessie! Come back!” But it was no use, she was off, disappearing through the undergrowth. A flash of light, an electric crackling in the air and Jessie yelped in pain. Moments later she limped back, a dark ring singed around her neck.
I sit now at my desk. The vet found nothing wrong with Jessie, other than singed fur. I am trying to work out where to find the money for the bill. The throbbing in the back of my head is getting worse. Strange lights play around the edge of my vision. The world has suddenly gone quiet.