The house was quiet at 5 am and Tim’s mother was asleep. Only the sound of the big freezer broke the quiet. He’ d dreamt of the cave last night. The purring of the freezer had been the sea.
Tim pulled on a sweater and put some apples into his schoolbag. It was too early for breakfast. He’d eat after he’ d been through the cave, sitting on the rocks and staring at the sea.
He wished he had a proper pack. His schoolbag would have to do. What else? Sandwiches but his mother might wake up if he started pulling out bread for sandwiches, she’ d want to know why he had to leave so early. He settled for some biscuits, and left a note stuck to the table:
Gone to Michael’s Back tonight, Tim.
The sky was high and soft and light outside, though the sun still wasn’t up. Even the highway up the hill was quiet as he made his way down the street. The wind from the sea was fresh and sweet.
The sandhills still breathed heat from yesterday’s sun, though the top of the sand was cool. He ran down to the beach impatiently, but there was no one, just dry sand dancing in the early wind and seabirds marching up and down watching the waves.
The light changed suddenly. The first rays of sunlight stretched across the sea. The sun was pushing its way over the edge of the world.
Over the first rocks, along to the point. Tim glanced back. The beach was still empty. The sun sailed higher in the sky.
He could see the cave now, even darker in the morning light. The sand turned silver then dark gold as the water flowed away from it. He had to force himself to go closer. Why was it so much more mysterious now? But it would be silly to go back now after so much trouble. He needn’t go in all the way...