Well I've decided to start yet another story. I'll continue to work on my others as well, primarily Almost Human.
This will be my first time writing more of a love story rather than an adventure type story ;)
Please enjoy and check out my other stories as well!

Chapter 1


by: Shiranuii
The clear water slid reluctantly back across the pale yellow sand whilst the gentle roar of the ocean heralded yet another wave. Humps in the water curled into the air as they neared the shore, light foam building on their tips until they toppled forward, striking the sand like a snake. The sound of the wave died down to a subtle hiss as again the water surged forward over the moist sand, and retreating back again.

The screech of a pelican overhead caused the young child to look up, her knees dug into the sand. The pelican was merely a black shape before the vibrant hues of the sky illuminated by the setting sun. Although the sun was an orange color by now, the sky above the horizon glowed a mesmerizing pink and the clouds were purple underneath. Inland the sky had just begun to escape the sun's reach, fading to a dark blue as the first stars twinkled into view.

The young girl dug her hands into the moist sand, wriggling her fingers around before scooping out a large handful and dumping it onto what she called her sand castle. As the waves rushed in, they spilled into they moat she had carved around the structure, eating at the sides and threatening to wash away the castle. She giggled as the cold water rushed over her toes.

She cast a longing look at the rocks down the coastline before standing up, wiping the grainy sand off of her legs and into the water. Sand stuck to her one piece red swimsuit covered in white polka-dots. Other grains sat in the loose frills around the shoulder straps. The shadows around the straps had created a wavy red glow on her shoulders since she had sat in the sun a bit too long.

"Mommy!" the girl shouted as she ran excitedly towards the towel that the tan woman sunbathed on, the back of her neck covered by shoulder-length dark hazelnut hair. The woman looked up, taking her sunglasses off as the girl picked up her small pink flip-flops and poured out the sand before sliding them onto her petite feet.

"I wanna go to the tide pools." the child whined, the high pitch and tone of her voice indicating her young age of around six. She had just finished her first year of elementary school in Portland, Oregon, proud to be moving on to the first grade. She had celebrated her birthday in early July, and the weather had finally cooperated enough for them to enjoy a day at the beach. The two hour drive to Seaside had been a drain on both of her parents who had had a long, stressful day at work as layoffs became more common in the recession.

"Honey," her mom began in a typical motherly tone, "It's getting pretty late and your father and I are pretty exhausted."

"But mommy they're right over there!" The girl pointed with a short finger, her pigtails bouncing as she turned her head in the direction of the rocks.

Her mother looked up to see where she was pointing, surprised at the distance from where she was. Her eyes widened as a forceful wave came crashing down onto the black rocks, water spilling and spraying across the area. "Daddy and I can't see you over there."

"Then come with me and see the fishies!" the child explained, smiling at the thought of seeing small creatures swimming around in tide pools, oblivious to her prescence.

"Lyra," her mother sighed, pinching the bridge of her nose with her fingers, closing her eyes. "I can't right now, alright? I've already told you it's getting late-"

"But mommy!" Lyra interrupted in a whining tone, excessively heaving her shoulders and sticking her bottom lip out.

"No Lyra," her mother sighed, irritated. She sat up and opened up her purse, placing her sunglasses inside as well as some bottles of suntan lotion. She pulled out a chocolate bar that they had purchased earlier from the local market and handed into Lyra and said sternly, "We're not going there tonight. Now I don't want to hear another word about this, alright? I'll take you down there tomorrow morning but tonight I am really tired."

The girl scrunched up her face before kicking the sand. "Fine," she mumbled, crossing her arms after snatching the candy from her mom's outstretched hand.

Her mom's eyes softened a little seeing her child so disgruntled at so meager a thing. She crouched down and picked up her towel, shaking it into the wind so the sand would fly out and away from their eyes. She rolled it up and tucked it under her shoulder, then held out her other arm for Lyra to grab a hold of. Lyra placed her small hand onto her mother's palm and curled her fingers around her hand, then followed her to the townhouse they owned on the beachfront.

Lyra's frustration was alleviated as she watched dry sand spill over her feet before becoming strewn out behind her with each step. She occasionally made extra effort to place her foot onto a triangular footstep left by a cormorant or a seagull, or to startle one into flight. She had gleaned from their skittish behavior that they only came around once the humans left to pick up scraps of bread or lettuce that families had left behind while eating sandwiches or other food items.

The open sand transitioned into tall yellow grasses with a path carved between them, trod upon by countless visitors and tourists so that it remained permanently trampled and accessible. Often people brought their dogs onto the beach since it was allowed, as long as they were looked after and cleaned up, which was not always the case.

The grasses faintly slid along Lyra's exposed skin, tickling her. She giggled quietly before stifling the laugh, knowing that her mom was already annoyed and exhausted. Lyra instead looked determinedly forward as she saw so many adults do, and allowed her mother's strong arm to lead her to the boardwalk.

They followed the old boardwalk parallel to the ocean for about two hundred meters before arriving at a long stretch of beach-facing townhouses, all painted in cheery pastel colors. Theirs was a slightly faded blue color due to old age and wear from the briny spray of the cold Pacific ocean. The front facing gable over the main door was filled in with tawny brown shingle siding. The windows had a white trim and were vertically sliding so one could hear the soft roar of the ocean in the night.

They walked across the grass onto the patio and opened the back door to the sound of Lyra's father calling "Hello! I'm in the office. Just working."

"Cook anything for dinner?" Lyra's mother called back, pulling her purse off of her shoulder and setting it onto the granite counter top. She walked across the hardwood flooring made of a dark, textured acacia wood before coming to the oven

"I have some cannelloni cooking in there. Should be done in about ten minutes," he answered before returning to his realty work. Although they were on vacation, he had just gotten a call from one of his more difficult clients whom had finally made an offer on a small apartment in the Pearl District of Portland. Their offer was way under-budget, so he had to work arduously to beat out other potential buyers to get them the apartment. Unsurprisingly enough, Lyra's mother had to work too.

Lyra walked over to the oven and watched the timer countdown, 8:54... 8:53... 8:52... , before setting her sandy flip-flops by the back door and walking over to the living room and falling onto the couch. She picked up the pillows that had fallen onto the floor and set them back on the couch. One of the pictures had an image of a lighthouse sewn onto it with violent, seemingly alive waves assaulting the rocky precipice that it stood upon.

She sighed before reclining back onto the sofa, resting her head onto the lighthouse pillow, waiting for dinner to be ready. After dinner she would throw her pajamas on immediately before leaping into bed, struggling to sleep as she excitedly thought of all the things she would see at the tide pools the following morning.

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