Quin looked up from his sketch pad, startled to see someone coming up this stretch of the coast line. It was a girl. She hadn’t noticed him yet. That wasn’t surprising—He was sitting near the top of a steep embankment. Beach grass rippled over his head, and the air was filled with a damp fog. She might not see him even if she did look up.
He lifted the tip of his HB pencil from his drawing, a laugh building in his chest. She had one of those massive, ear-covering headphones clamped over her head, ipod in hand. Her steps glided here, hopped there, moving in rhythm to her private concert.
Quin went back to his sketch, shivering. There was an unnatural wetness in this Oregon air. He paused, looking at the girl again. Her jeans were rolled up above her knees. Her thin hoodie was completely unzipped, snapping back in the wind. She walked barefooted, seemingly oblivious to the waves rolling over her feet.
It couldn’t be more than forty degrees out, at best. The ocean water had to be nearly freezing. She was crazy. He was wearing two jackets, a scarf, a hat, the thickest socks he had, and he was still cold. What was she doing?
She glanced over her shoulder, to where she had come from. Quin unconsciously looked down the shoreline as well. No one was in sight. She darted into the waves, water splashing around her legs.
Entranced, he watched her dance in the ocean water. It wasn’t any particular kind of dancing, so far as he could tell. He wouldn’t be surprised if she hadn’t taken a dance class in her life. She just moved.
Then she spun to a halt. She held her ipod above her head and sat down, the waves rolling around her waist. Quin blinked, shivering at the sight.
She leaped up and dashed for the sand, a short screech coming from her mouth. She stood on the sand below him, shaking uncontrollably and laughing. She was definitely crazy. Or an Oregon native. Quin doubted most tourists would enjoy freezing themselves in this wintry ocean.
He watched her hop around and shake the salt water from her clothes, headphones slipping down around her neck. A laugh escaped Quin’s throat. She went still, her face slowly tipping to look up at him. He waved down at her wide eyes, his pencil held between his fingers. Her face, already red from the cold, couldn’t become any brighter. She slowly lifted a hand and waved in return. Then she turned and sprinted up the coast line, not once looking back.
Quin blew on his hands to warm them before pulling a kneaded eraser from his pocket. He carefully used it and his pencil to reshape the center of the sketch. A few minutes later a strange girl danced amid the waves in his drawing.