Beside the Sea

THE SCENT OF the sea filled her lungs.

Fragrant with enough salt to shock her nose, Anath found the tensions in her neck unraveling. The muscles loosened, shoulders drooping, as she dropped to the ground. Fine yellow sand, sprinkled with molasses, stretched in all directions. The man beside her hesitated, shuffling his feet before he gingerly crouched beside her.

“How can you stand it?” he asked, picking sand up between his fingers.

Rubbing it together, a minute pout blossomed on Nkosana’s lips, as it refused to seep from his hand, as he had probably expected. Instead, his pout flattened into a frown, and the prince of Maliabeyo gently dried out the wet sand, until it drizzled back to the ground.

“There, you see?” he continued, brushing his palm onto his pants. “It will get into everything and clump together.”

Chuckling, Anath scooted closer to him, nudging him in side. Nkosana teetered, narrowing his deep brown eyes at her.

“I’d ask you to refrain from ruining my clothes, but that, I suspect, is too much to ask.”

“You’ve already done that yourself,” Anath snickered, plucking at his pants. The pale ocher cotton was stained with minuscule clumps of sand. “Or didn’t you notice?”

“Agh!” Falling onto his rump, Nkosana avidly tried to flick the sand away; his frantic gestures only spread it further, spilling into his lap. “Guh…I thought I dried it.”

“Oh, you did, but some of it was still stuck t’you hand,” Anath said, wrapping her arms over his knee.

“Aha! There! You see, it proves my point, perfectly! It will get into everything. It’s already gotten to me!”

“Oh, yes, the terrible, terrible sand,” she intoned, shaking his knee as she did.

“Hmph. You are teasing me.”

“Am I?”Grinning, Anath’s dark larkspur eyes twinkled mischievously, as if their petals had caught morning dew. She clamored onto his chest, shoving him into the sand.

“Agh! My hair! You!”

Shaking her head, Anath bent down so that their noses almost touched; wrinkling hers at Nkosana, she blew onto his forehead. Her breath ruffled his smoky, ebony hair, the thick strands momentarily waving back at her.

Written: 12 Aug 2012

Word Count: 354

Inspired: to see if I was still familiar with them and could still write their characters

A/N: The focus of this character sketch are Anath and Nkosana (name pending to change), individuals who seemed to come out of nowhere and disrupt one of my stories. Despite their story being in revision, I still feel that this captures their personalities honestly.

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