Summer Fiction by Lynn Korbel!
The sun rose above the sheltered gulf, chasing away the fog as it embraced gulls, pelicans and lest terns. She scattered light-points across the water till it gleamed like diamonds and till, from the woman’s point of view, they were scooped up with her very own eyes, and placed among her mind’s untouchable treasures. And she ran on, this woman, her running shoes bearing her along the water’s edge where the sand was hard packed from the departing high tide. She ran every morning along this stretch of beach. Pushed by her own inner tide, she strove for what was, what will be.
Past the old southern manor homes, Candice ran under the gaze of an unknown watcher. He sat on his balcony observing her through his binoculars, marveling at Candice’s tenacity. He figured she must run 5 miles nearly every day, excepting stormy ones; at least, for the past 7 months anyway. That is how long he had watched for her. When first he took notice her brown hair reaching below her shoulders, now it flowed down her back, a long liquid ponytail. She rounded the curve; Michael lowered his binoculars and sat waiting, knowing she would run by from the other direction in another 12 minutes.
“Tomorrow is the day we venture to meet her,” Michael said to his black lab, Paris, and rubbed his faithful friend’s ears. “Yes! It’s do or die, old sport!”
The dog winked.
“You think she’ll run even faster when she sees me, or do you think she will be amiable enough to someone infringing on her ritual?”
The dog panted.
“Yup, that’s what I’m afraid of–still, I have to give it a go.”
The following morning, Michael laced up his Nikes, and headed out the side door with Paris at his side. The sun was just emerging from the far-off sea as they crossed the highway. Looking at his diver’s watch, Michael figured to the possible second she might appear from the west. Paris, still leashed, romped and danced in the sand.
“You’re in love with her too, aren’t you, old sport?”
Paris dug up a sand crab, sniffed it, sat down and watched for the runner with his friend.
She never showed.
The following day, Michael and Paris walked to the Corner Store as it was named and located on the corner. There she was! Amazed ~caught by surprise, he stared. She was studying exotic labels on cans of olives. Casting a glance at Michael, she smiled, a luminous smile reaching not only her eyes but her entire self. Michael smiled back, reaching for a box of Mr. Barky’s Dog Treats for Paris. Turning around nonchalantly toward the organic produce, he noticed she had moved to the cool drinks in the refrigerant case. Michael studied the produce… noticing the flawed state of the skins. Organic produce was seldom lovely. He selected three kiwis and a couple pears, placing them in a basket. Casting his eye about for her, he spied her selecting a loaf of artisan bread. Paris stepped on his friend’s foot, urging Michael to make his move.
The woman had selected a dark loaf of German bread.
“That one, good?” Michael ventured.
“I don’t really know, usually I go with the oatmeal.” She replied, reaching her palm out to Paris. “He’s wonderful! I love dogs.”
Kneeling down on the sandy wood floor, the woman caressed Paris’s head. “My name is Candice, and you are?”
“Michael,” He replied, smiling.
Paris licked Candice’s hand; Michael asked her to dinner.