It was early morning, still and clear. There was nobody else on the beach, the tide was out and the sand was washed clean. She could have been the only person in the world; from the cove, there was no view of the village, no traffic noise. The cottage where they were staying for the holidays was hidden by a bank of dunes. The gulls calling overhead and the waves breaking on the shore were all that broke the silence.
She turned and saw a set of footprints, leading from the dry sand where she was standing to the other end of the bay. Her first response was resentment. She’d left her family behind in the cottage because she’d wanted some time to be alone. The empty beach was a good place to think and she had important decisions to make. Then she was intrigued. The footprints only led in one direction. Where was the person who’d got here before her? She took off her shoes and she followed the marks in the sand.

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