The roar of it fills her ears, drowning out her thoughts. Over and over and over.
Before her, a calmer path opens as the crest languidly rolls toward her, promising reprieve.
A break. Infrequent and welcome.
It glides passed her, unassuming.
Another swells in the distance.
It obscures the horizon line and draws strength from its belly.
The spray stings her eyes, springing from the surface with innocent exuberance. It crashes against her thighs, threatening to knock her down.
She fights to maintain shaky balance against the force of it.
Determined, it returns again and again and again.
The next builds, rising faster and stronger than the last.
Teetering backwards, her feet grasp for solid ground. Her muscles tense, braced for the impact. It’s too strong.
Gritty sand digs into her kneecaps.
The water rushes over her head. The roar is muffled, still filling her ears.
Her eyes burn and her lungs scream for the surface.
Arms and legs flail.
Her fingers find themselves instinctively.
Fingertips to palm, pulling downward, swirling.
This is the sign for drowning.