The beach was full of happy sunbathers, swimmers, surfers and sandcastle builders. Strolling tourists filled the boardwalk. The mid-afternoon sun was high in the sky and the ocean water was warm. It was the perfect day to visit the beach.
“I’m so glad we came to the beach today,” Simon said.
“Me too, it is important for you to get out of that stuffy office,” Marta, his wife, replied.
Simon’s phone beeped, alerting him he had a text message. Marta glared at him as he reached for it, he smiled sheepishly then settled back into the lawn chair and closed his eyes to enjoy the sunshine. His wife was right, work could wait.
A rumbling sound woke Simon up. “What the …?” he said as the sand around them shook from the earthquake and the water rose to the top, creating quicksand.
They, along with everyone else on the beach, sunk into the mush. As they struggled to free themselves they sank deeper and deeper into the soil. When the earthquake finished, the water soaked back into the sand and trapped them in place.
“What happened? Why can’t I get out?” Marta, who was chest deep in the sand, demanded as she struggled to free herself..
“It is called soil liquefaction,” Simon, who was a geologist, answered. “We’re basically stuck in a sandy cement.”
“Get us out!” his wife ordered frantically. The tide was coming in and it wouldn’t be long before it reached them.
“Help! Please, someone help us!” Simon called, joining in the chorus of beach-goers who were also trapped in the sand. Those closer to the water started panicking as the waves washed over their faces. The rescue crews tried to dig them out but there just weren’t enough of them and many of those who were trapped drowned waiting.
Marta and Simon looked into each other’s eyes as the water lapped closer. “I don’t think we’re going to make it,” Simon said.
“I love you, Simon,” she said tearfully.
The edge of the salty water splashed onto his face as he replied, “I love you, too.”
When the rescue team pulled their lifeless bodies from the sand they were still looking at each other. One of the rescuers smiled then said, “I guess they had a cemented love.”
Word Prompt: sunshine, strolling, warm