The Perfect Beach Day: A flash fiction story

While going through some old stories, I was so taken by this little snippet I wrote a few years ago that I knew I had to expand on it a bit. Enjoy!

. . .

Mia always forgot just how stale the everyday air she breathed was until she stood on the beach.

No, it wasn’t just the air that was stale back home—it was everything. Compared to the bright blues of the sky and water, the glittering white sand, and the nearly tangible heat, normal life felt utterly dull in comparison. Wake up. Eat a quick, plain breakfast. Go to work. Come home. Read all night and wish there was something more awaiting her the next day.

She was lucky today. She’d been able to look forward to her one-day beach vacation for over a month, but now that she was here, a voice in the back of her mind whispered that it would be gone in a flash. Tomorrow, she’d wake up again, the beach only an occasional happy memory to grab on to…

“Miaaaaa,” Joanna whined, drawing out her name. “You look serious already. We just got here!”

Mia tried to fend off the sudden melancholy with a quick shake of her head. An uneasy feeling remained in her gut, but she forced a smile for her frowning niece.

“Only because a day at the beach must be taken very seriously.”

Joanna gave her a flat stare. “Beach equals fun,” she said, gesturing to emphasize the point. “Not serious.”

“Depends on how you look at it.” Mia dropped down into her chair and settled into the shade. As she buried her feet in the warm sand, a good shiver ran down her spine. “If we’re not serious about how we spend the day, we could end up missing out on some essential beach activities. Or, worse, we could get sunburned. Are you wearing sunscreen?”

Joanna grinned sheepishly and sank further into her chair. “Not…yet…”

Mia kicked her foot into the air, spraying sand all over Joanna. She gasped and leapt up, brushing herself off. Even as her mouth hung open in indignation, a smile played at the edges of her lips.

“You know this means war?”

“Not if you want me to buy you lunch and ice cream.”

Joanna buzzed her lips and crossed her arms. “I hate it when you use that one on me.”

“Don’t forget,” Mia said with a smirk, “I was a broke college kid, too, just a few years ago. Free food is a foolproof method of complia—”

Joanna kicked sand into Mia’s face so suddenly that Mia ducked a second too late. Sand filled her mouth, choking off the final word.

“Foolproof, huh?”

Mia coughed and sputtered, eyes closed against the onslaught, but she heard the smile in Joanna’s voice clearly enough. And there, sheltered from all of the beach’s wonders—blind to its beauty, hiding in the shade, breathing in only earthy sand—Mia realised something.

Maybe it wasn’t the beach that was important, but what she made of the time she had there.

“Okay, okay,” Mia said once she’d cleared away most of the sand from her face. “No more seriousness, I promise. Only fun.”

“…and still lunch and ice cream?” Joanna asked with a hopeful smile.

The final vestiges of darkness and doubt faded from Mia’s mind as she chuckled. Yes, tomorrow would come, and probably sooner than she liked. But she had now. And tomorrow, she’d have a different “now” that she could make the most of.

“Yes,” Mia said with a long-suffering sigh. “Lunch and ice cream are still on the table. If you behave.”

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Photo by Elizeu Dias on Unsplash

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When you write as much as I do, you have to take frequent breaks from sitting. A standing desk (not a whole desk, but a mini desk that will sit on top of my current desk with my laptop, keyboard, and mouse and extend upward) will allow me to continue working while maintaining that good blood flow to my brain. Thank you so much for your support that allows me to keep producing free content. God bless you! ♥️ E.J.


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