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A Deserted Beach

Updated on July 21, 2017
Near Cottesloe Beach, West Australia
Near Cottesloe Beach, West Australia

As she walked along the deserted beach, the girl swung her towel and beach bag in time to her step. Her tan showed up well against the watermelon pink bathing costume she wore. Her blonde hair bobbed up and down, just touching her lovely shoulders.

She topped a rise in the sandhills, and saw, stretched out al­most at her feet, a young man of twenty-five, perhaps. He had not noticed her. He appeared to be asleep. Only his long, sun-tanned legs were bare, the rest of his body was covered by a large white towel. She looked up and down the beach. All was quiet; isolated. Seeing no other company on the beach, she moved to his side. She stood over him for a few seconds. He was wearing dark sunglasses, so she wasn’t sure whether he was asleep; or awake; or watching her.

“Got a cigarette?” she asked in a deliberately high-pitched voice. He started at the sound of her voice and then rolled to the side, quickly gathering and clutching the towel round his narrow shoulders. His chin was moist where he had dribbled in his sleep. He dropped the sunglasses down onto his cheeks for a second; looked at her, then removed them. Bleary eyes squinted in the sunlight.

“Got a cigarette?” she repeated, and then “Mind if I sit down?” Without waiting for a reply, she sat beside him and ac­cepted the proffered cigarette. Leaning forward so that her cigarette came in contact with the lighted match he held towards her, her weak eves perused his face.

Sudden recognition brightened her face. “You’re from the hotel. You were playing the piano last night, weren’t you?”

No answer.

“What were you playing?”

“The Sonata Pathétique,” he answered; then warming to his favourite subject: “It’s by Beethoven; he wrote it when he was…”

“Pattyteek?” she shrieked. “Pattyteek?” She jumped to her feet; then flopped to the ground beside him. “Pattyteek, Pattyteek” she repeated between high-pitched giggles, drumming her heels in the sand like a little child.

He took a long, but shallow breath, and then, letting it out gently between pursed lips, turning his face fully towards her: “I said, Pathétique. Not…” and he left the rest of his words to lie in the hot air.

“Whatever!” she answered, and then “But I’m going to call you Pattyteek. You’re going to be my Pattyteek” and she laughed again, drawing on the last of her cigarette. She pushed the butt into the sand beside her; drew her finger down the corner of her mouth, inspected it, removing a tiny grain of sand that had adhered to the lipstick there. She gazed out to sea for a few seconds. Then, looking around her, she noticed a paperback book lying on the sand between them. Picking it up, she ran her thumb across the edge of the pages. Opened it for a second; closed it. “You reading this? What’s it about?” and then, almost as an afterthought, “…Pattyteek. What’s it about, Pattyteek. Eh? What’s it about”

“I wasn’t reading. I was asleep”.

She sighed. “It’s hot. It’s hot, Innit?” then laughed again. “I didn’t mean the book’s hot… You wouldn’t be reading a hot book, would you?” and she waved an admonishing finger in his face. “That’d be naughty wouldn’t it Pattyteek? Eh? Eh?”

“Can you swim?” he asked.

“Huh?”

“Can you swim?” he repeated, slowly and carefully; his voice was flat yet precise. “Can you swim?” and he spaced the words out carefully.

She looked into his face momentarily; brushed some sand from her toes and looked into his face again.

“Dunno. I don’t think so. No”.

“I’ll teach you,” he said, “Come on,” and taking her by the hand, he led her to the edge of the water. As it lapped against her legs she squealed with delight, but when the wavelets reached her waist, she would go no further.

“Teach me to swim, Pattyteek,” she giggled. “Teach me here,” and she slapped the surface of the water with both hands, “Right here!”

“OK. Float on your back,” he ordered, in the same deliberate monotone. “Here, I’ll hold you,” He slip­ped his left hand under the small of her back and supported her. She lay there, splashing her arms around and up and down in the water. His arm felt strong and supported her securely.

“What now, Pattyteek?” she asked. The sun beat down brightly and she narrowed her eyes to see him against the glare that shone around his bending head. She looked into his face and then started to struggle. With his right hand he pushed her head under the water; slowly and carefully; and held it there. She thrashed her arms and legs and momentarily managed to lift her head above the surface; wide frightened eyes; widely gaping mouth dragging air into her lungs, but he simply pushed harder; turning his body half to the right; putting all the weight of his left side and slender back and shoulder on top of her upturned face; forcing her head back.

Within a few minutes she was completely still, so be let her go. As she sank gracefully to the bottom, a halo of her golden hair fanned out around her pale face. Dead blue eyes peering through the sparkling water at the bright sun. One solitary bubble escaped from between her red lips and rose like a silver jelly to the surface

Taking one last look at the girl, he waded out of the water and walked up the beach to where he had left his towel.

As he dried himself, he noticed that he had scratch marks on his chest and forearms.

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    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Thanks for the visit, Theseus. Be wary of strangers and deserted beaches and musical nerds and and and

      I hope you liked it, regardless!

    • theseus profile image

      theseus 5 years ago from philippines

      Oh yeah...not at all what i have expected. you got me on this one. Whatta thrill.

      From now on, I will be extra careful in dealing with strangers..hahaha. God bless you.

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Looks safe.

      Lots of people.

      No strangers.

      No mad pianists.

      life guards.

      Ha ha ha!

      I still can't find out how to do that little voice recording...

      Alexander Graham Bell, where are you when I want you?

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Looks safe.

      Lots of people.

      No strangers.

      No mad pianists.

      life guards.

      Ha ha ha!

      I still can't find out how to do that little voice recording...

      Alexander Graham Bell, where are you when I want you?

    • profile image

      Sunnie Day 6 years ago

      Hi Ian,

      Believe it or not Texas has a beautiful coastal area...I love going there..

      http://youtu.be/HpI7Swx4mDY

      This is Padre Island...

      Love,

      Sunnie

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      I'm glad you liked it, Sunnie. Just beware when the days get warm again and you fancy a walk along a deserted beach. There are surprises in store for the unwary tourist.

      Mind you, I'm not sure if there are beaches in Texas, are there?

      Lots of love,

      Ian

      x

    • profile image

      Sunnie Day 6 years ago

      Hello My friend,

      I am not sure how I missed this one..I have read..I believe, everything you have written..:)At least I have tried..This was a very moving, scary story. It was written like a mystery novel full of horrific events that slowly unfold. I could see this becoming a book..I really do!.. Some girls do not have a brain in their heads..The front page news is full of young girls trusting in total strangers. This perhaps is one of their stories..So frighting to say the least..You made me sit back and think how often out of the blue something so unsuspecting can happen when we are not paying attention...Desolate beach...one stranger..GO HOME!

      Thank you my Ian, Sending a big hug today!

      Sunnie

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      There are far too few really capable writers on HP, and it is so refreshing to read something which is lucid, well written and in which the rules of grammar, punctuation and spelling are honoured.

    • profile image

      writeronline 6 years ago

      TL, hi, thanks for reading and leaving such reassuring comments on both those efforts.

      And thanks too for this little 'onsite reference plug'. I need all the referrals I can get... :)

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      I printed out the story about the M in B, and took it to Streatham Common to read, because I thought it might need to be read in hard copy.

      I loved it.

      beautifully paced and lovely writing. I was hooked within a few paragraphs. I was dying to discover how someone could be invisible but "there".

      Excellent writing, my friend, excellent.

    • profile image

      writeronline 6 years ago

      Hi TL, here's the link to my first attempt at fiction - with the rider previously expressed re the rest of my HP offerings..:)

      http://writeronline.hubpages.com/hub/ShortStoryDea...

      And, while I'm here, this is the link to the story I mentioned below your suicide poem about my father, in relation to fatalism vs suicide. Or a living death..

      http://writeronline.hubpages.com/hub/What-I-Learne...

      Feel free to delete this comment. It's not meant to be self-serving, just a quick way of 'pointing you in the right direction'

      Cheers

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Wonderful I am sitting here with my tummy (all of it)moving up and down at your last sentence.

      I would like to read your fiction. Is it obvious, if i were to go to your profile, or would it be easier to point me in the right direction.

      About my pianist... I don't think it was a planned act. I think that it was "just the thing to do". That's the way I have muddled through my life, and there is a lot of me in the character. Not deliberately so, but I can see it now.

    • profile image

      writeronline 6 years ago

      Thanks for recommending I read this, TL. I enjoyed it very much. Great characterisation. The urge to kill the woman, and rid the beach of her silly aggravation, arose in me some time before it occurred in the storyline!

      Even so, I was uncertain that our hero was actually planning her demise; perhaps he wasn't, just couldn't stop himself... either way, so much for my belief that 'swimming is staying alive when in the water'.

      I think I might try writing more fiction, I've run out of intelligent (well, I like to hope so...)things to offer about 'writing for money'. I've only written one story so far, (if you're bored sometime, it's a short story, and surprise surprise, it's about death. Death giving no notice..), but I enjoyed the process.

      Actually, when I reflect on how little I've made from those serious 'how to' offerings, perhaps I'm mistaken in thinking I've only written one work of fiction to date...

      Cheers

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Nice try.

    • profile image

      Becky 6 years ago

      I am not going any place with you, sir, that is not in the public eye at all times. YOU are a scoundrel.

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      You have great insight, Becky. I think I created her, as you guessed, from the attributes of a person who would annoy me most, and then made her pretty, if a trifle tarty.

      Next time I go to a nice secluded beach, why don't you come along and we can rid the world of people who annoy us.

      It will be our own private culling season,

      We can sit over hoy cups of something or other in the Winter, and reminisce and plan our next Summers together.

      What fun!

    • profile image

      Becky 6 years ago

      Since I was extremely annoyed by her also, I was surprised when he offered to teach her to swim but not when he held her under. You write a very good annoying person. What did you do, think of the most annoying habits you could and give them all to her?

      I loved this. Murders are not that easy to write but you gave him a good reason.

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Thanks for coming and having a look around. I wrote this ages ago, but still like it. I'm glad you do too.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 6 years ago from Wales

      A brilliant story and thanks for sharing.

      I now look forward to reading many more of your hubs.

      I vote this one up .

      Take care

      Eiddwen.

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      You fool. Obviously a member of the forensic team.

      I'm in the process of "thinking" about your e-mail.

      N.B. Thinking is not one of my greatest skills.

    • Pearldiver profile image

      Rob Welsh 6 years ago from Tomorrow - In Words & NZ Time.

      I believe the WA Defectives stated that her disappearance was also thought to have been linked duck prints that they had found all over the WA beaches. Dive flippers had been completely discounted, when it was discovered that the 'duck' appeared to have been dragging a stick or something between the duck prints. Having measured the length of the duck prints - arousal was also ruled out! Shark bait huh? Hmmmm

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      You do make me laugh, Pearl Diver (when you aren't making me go all introspective). Thanks for dropping by and dipping your toes in the water... Now I have ti go and Google Search Jill Enderley, Food for thoughts, or simply food for sharks?

    • Pearldiver profile image

      Rob Welsh 6 years ago from Tomorrow - In Words & NZ Time.

      So... finally I know what happened to Jill Enderley, it's a great pity that the adhesive for false nails doesn't survive exposure to seawater well... they might have been able to gain your DNA match. Ummmm...

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      A friend of mine and I shared the end of year prize for which everyone in college had to contribute something.

      She is now a very successful writer on Women's Issues and Islamic issues. We are still very close, although she is in Australia still.

      I'm not sure if we are allowed to publish names here, but she's a wonderful writer.

    • Nellieanna profile image

      Nellieanna Hay 6 years ago from TEXAS

      Admittedly she offended his sensitivities with her abject lack of knowledge and her lack of embarrassment about it, but that was taking his critique of her lacks a bit far!!

      Made for a fascinating story, though, told with such literary flourish and class! Surely you got high marks on it in the course!

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Thank you for your comment. I had never thought of that. I love your, "You put just the right amount of foreshadowing to drag us under with the girl"... very eloquently put. Thanks so much for reading the piece.

    • PegCole17 profile image

      Peg Cole 6 years ago from Dallas, Texas

      Chilling narrative. I was unable to stop reading. You put just the right amount of foreshadowing to drag us under with the girl. Now we'll need a chapter to describe the internal struggles of the guy. Write on.

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      I suppose my imagination ran away with me at times. My goodness! If all the world were fact, how would Kenneth Graham and A.A.Milne manage to create those woderful characters.

    • KKalmes profile image

      KKalmes 6 years ago from Chicago, Illinois

      Hello Ian, I may not have realized this because of the ease of the read... so glad you cleared that up... "This, as you must realize, is just fiction required as part of my English Major."

      to better days...

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      GothicPoet, I think you must realise that there might be parallels between your selfish and self absorbed antihero, but believe me, this is simply an exercise in fiction, and as there has been an attempt to attain verisimilitude, it has most proabaly worked for you. I just happened to like the beach, and perhaps I thought to myself: "What if?"

      I can assure you, lots of empty headed girls wandered by, but I only strangled or drowned a limited number of them.

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      I have just remembered that when I was writing at college (and this was written in my first or second year there... Obviously I have added a little, but not much), the English lecturer liked my writing quite a lot, and said to me, "Obviously, you have read a lot of Chekhov!". I was ashamed to admit that I hadn't read any of his work at all... but I did eventually.

    • kallini2010 profile image

      kallini2010 6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Ian, I started my comment thinking about Anton Chekhov. There was a short story he wrote (and I like his short stories more than his plays) about a publisher and an author. The lady (author) came to the publisher's office to read her story (fiction) and it was so terrible that poor guy ended up killing her. And he was found ... NOT GUILTY. That is Chekhov for you.

      The best book I have read on "writing life of others" is "T" by Victor Pelevin, but I don't know if it is translated, I could not find it. It is hilarious and very philosophical.

      Maybe later I will write about this author because he is my favourite at the moment and I think his ideas are mostly true. If not true, then very entertaining.

      P.S. This character you created...

      now I am sitting and thinking about this man, what was before and what will happen after, this "Sonata Pathetique" - I love it and I am not a fan of classical music or a person who knows it all that well.

      A writer in me... Just turned my head away from the computer and I saw the heavy snow outside, and there is a hub I decided to write on a day when it snows... not fiction, though...

      Good luck with your reading, writing & creating reality,

      Thank you.

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      I'm going to look for 'Stranger Than Fiction'. That sounds a new twist. I like this "point of view that every time a story is read, it becomes real, so authors create reality and so do readers." That fascinates me as well. Could it be true? I can't see why not. Thank you, Svetlana.

    • kallini2010 profile image

      kallini2010 6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Now that I have to think about writing fiction, there are some disturbing thoughts.

      All of a sudden, I remembered how I had "to kill" my first character. We (I) were writing an essay for English Composition course and I don't remember anything about the assignment or the story for that matter, but I remember that the main character committed suicide at the end. We helped him with that. Poor thing.

      There is n point of view that every time a story is read, it becomes real, so authors create reality and so do readers. Readers are the Light that makes the story (characters) visible. God(s) write our story, we write stories about characters, sometimes characters in the books we write write their own stories and so forth.

      Just yesterday I tried to watch "Stranger than Fiction" and if you know this film, the writer writes a book about Harold and she doesn't know how to kill him whereas the character Harold becomes aware that he is only a character and being written and his imminent death is a question of how long the writer has to wait for inspiration to strike...

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Shogan, I thank you very much for that wonderful comment. I am an incredibyl slow writer, but when you ask like that, how can I refuse?

    • shogan profile image

      shogan 6 years ago from New England

      TW, this is really good. It's evocative and disturbing. You're a natural with pacing and balancing description with dialogue. Gimme more!

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Thank you, ChilliWilly. I appreciate your comment, and hope you will like anything else I write. It's a superb thing to say, and I really feel great hearing it.

    • ChilliWilly profile image

      ChilliWilly 6 years ago from Kaunas, Lithuania

      Gorgeous hub, very beautiful

    • gothicpoet profile image

      gothicpoet 6 years ago

      i dont know

      this posting reminded me of a jealous idiot man who feels he has the right to be when he discards others like garbage?

    • gothicpoet profile image

      gothicpoet 6 years ago

      well sometimes these things are written when others are jealous when they have no right to be,,,depending on the treatment of others..

      i have had jealous men..

      i just do not feel that is a right to some of them when they abuse me like they do..or deny things they shouldn't..etc..

      i have let those sorts go

      my religion told me too...God told me to let him go since God let him go too from his continue disloyaly and cowardly behavior..

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Hi Chris. Welcome back. I've missed your comments; you always make me laugh, either your in depth comments, or your brilliant hubs.

      We can't drown them all. Even in Australia, where it was set, there are winter months and we have to organise some other method of culling them.

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Tonzofkids, I have just read your profile, and will read your hubs as soon as I have had breakfast! How the hell do you have time to even read, much less, have breakfast yourself? Thanks for taking the time to read my stuff. Much appreciated!

    • Christoph Reilly profile image

      Christoph Reilly 6 years ago from St. Louis

      Hey. I really enjoyed the language and descriptions here. I could picture this exact stretch of beach. You have a way of using words to paint a scene like a canvas. I was sorry to see the silly girl go, though. If we drowned all the silly girls, where would we be?

    • tonzofkids profile image

      tonzofkids 6 years ago

      well written, engaging. Horrifying. Good read

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      You're quite safe. So long as you return and catch up, then you know you will always be welcome. Don't worry; there's a lovely private beach where you can go, and there's even a butler or lady's gentleman to wrap a fluffy white towel around you when you step out of the sea. Get your son to join you... He seems to like being waited on, hand and foot.

    • AngRose profile image

      AngRose 6 years ago

      Ian, it was my own fault for not monitoring you more closely...trust me, it won't happen again..you've proven yourself untrustworthy! HA And now I'm pulling my feet back out of the water, backing rapidly away from the ocean, which I used to love, afraid to return.

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Angie, how nice to see you again. I know what you mean. The devil finds work for idle hands, and I wasn't being monitored too closely. Don't be too worried, but may I remind you that in your profile you say that you like to dabble your toe in the water on occasion. Does that mean that you are a good swimmer... or would you like a little swimming lesson? Hmm?

      Thanks for your comments. They are much appreciated.

    • AngRose profile image

      AngRose 6 years ago

      Ian my friend, I leave you alone for just a few days and you've turned into a homicidal maniac. Sigh...what is one to do? Although, if you're going to be homicidal you might as well do it well..and you do my friend. One can almost taste the salt on their lips as the water splashed from her hands reaches their face....perhaps you're too good at this...should we be worried??

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Hi Gothic Poet. Thanks for dropping by and reading my little story. Don't worry; homicidal thoughts seldom become homicidal acts.

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Hi Kevin. And welcome back to my little space. I hope you realise that my tummy muscles are enjoying the exercise promoted by trying to contain laughter. You have a wicked sense of humour, my dear friend.

      I wrote this when I was at Teachers' College, and fleshed it out a couple of nights ago. When I wrote it, I was a shy, twenty-one year old homicidal maniac... err... Sorry, that slipped out.

      This, as you must realise, is just fiction required as part of my English Major.

    • KKalmes profile image

      KKalmes 6 years ago from Chicago, Illinois

      Hello Ian, it seems just when you think it's safe to go in the water... without seeming too sadistic life often gives you exactly what you were looking for, doesn't it!

      I would like to read more...

    • gothicpoet profile image

      gothicpoet 6 years ago

      well they do claim narcissists or sadistic individuals can have homicidal thoughts..

    • Twilight Lawns profile image
      Author

      Twilight Lawns 6 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

      Thanks for reading my little effort Donna. and your comment.

    • donna bamford profile image

      donna bamford 6 years ago from Canada

      Not bad. i sort of like it. How often do homocidal thoughts actually cross one's mind or near homocidal.

      He acted on it. I rather liked it.!