The storm had passed, finally. I sighed softly, upset with the time already wasted, and slipped out of the hotel room where I'd been trapped for the past half-day with my family. A big trip overseas, which Mom and Dad had spent years saving up for.
We spent the first week playing tourist in Japan's big cities, the stupid white foreigners who had to consult a phrasebook to ask where to find the toilets. That got old fast. After that, we came to a small beach resort to spend the second week of the trip. Japan's got some lovely beaches, or so we'd been told, but our first day there hadn't been very exciting. A storm blew in from nowhere and spent the whole day shaking the little rented villa with thunder and rain. I took off the second the storm broke, determined not to be trapped there with my parents and sister any longer. Even if it started raining again while I was out, I'd rather be in the middle of a thundershower than play another hand of Go Fish.
After the rattling, crashing, booming storm the beach was almost silent. The waves lapped against the shore, but they were low, background noises, easily ignored. Nobody else was anywhere to be found, the other beach resort villas still closed up against the storm and the encroaching evening. That suited me just fine.
The sunlight piercing the clouds limned everything in a faint golden hue, like being covered in a layer of some fine, glittering pixie dust. I tromped down through the powdered-gold sand and kicked a few furrows as I went along, spraying light around me. Only where sea met sand did the illusion of gold give way to reality, as the sand went muddy and brown as the waves went back and forth over it, drenching it more steadily than even a torrential rain could.
The storm had left a lot of flotsam and jetsam on the beach. I kind of pitied the resort's employees, that would have to clean it all up by tomorrow and restore the illusion of pristine paradise.
I kept walking, up along the waterline. The waves lapped against my feet, sometimes engulfing up to my ankles, and I let the muddy sand squelch between my toes. The air was still thick with humidity, but a fresh breeze off the water cut through the worst of it.