Living right by the ocean has it's rewards. I guess some would say I am one of the lucky ones, because very few people can live like I do.
My Dad was smart enough to invest in some property at the coast, many times as my two sisters and I were growing up he would take us all down there. We would camp out on the beach, play in the cool water, search the sands for treasures offered up by the sea.
I especially liked the days following storms, the walk along the half mile of sand we owned could result in finding just about anything.
By the time I was in my 30's, the government passed some laws and we no longer owned the sand, anybody who wanted could come down and enjoy it. Dad had never said otherwise, anyway, so it didn't matter. Besides, the place was remote enough few used it, preferring the busier resort areas several miles up the coast.
But he also understood about government, so he built the house up on the bank before they could pass any laws forbidding that. He set it far enough back that it was hard to see from the beach.
"Views go both ways, son." He told me.
Now in my sixties, I appreciated my Dad's wisdom. I inherited the house, giving up the stock funds and savings and the house in the city to my sisters to fight over. It was quite a bit, my Dad was a saver all his life.
In dollars, my sisters ended up way ahead of me. I always thought that even at that, I got the best of the deal.
I sold my own home in town, no need to keep it with my Martha gone. We had almost 40 good years. There were no children, we weren't blessed in that fashion, but we were as close as two people can be.
That one morning I woke up, Martha didn't. It was just like that, blessed again with no illness. It was like someone turned off a switch and I was all alone.
I moved to the house at the beach. The bills were few there. Enough acreage to supply firewood, a spring ran out of the cliff behind into a tank, there was a small garden that produced food well. A surprise since it was so close to the sea, but it was protected by the point on the North side from the harshest of winds. A few tons of compost really helped, too.
So I did my walks, beachcombing. I tended my garden. Once or twice a month I made the trip into town for odds and ends, my stipend from the government always managed to stretch enough to cover my small needs.
One day I walked down the path to the beach, crossed the soft dry sand to where it was still damp and firm. The storm just a few days earlier had rattled the windows of my little house, so I took my metal detector along.
I spotted a young woman down the beach, it was quite a distance. She was ambling along, picking up odds and ends. She was carrying a small satchel. Then she took out what looked like a piece of canvas, lay it on the sand and sat down.
I smiled, it was a bit rare to see anyone at all on my walks, even though the beach was now free access to anyone who cared to use it.
I just busied myself with the screen on my detector, moving along finding a bottle cap or poptop, or a rare coin. I always placed everything I found in my ditty bag, I liked to keep the sand clean.
As I got closer to where the woman was, I noticed she picked up the piece of canvas and wrapped it around herself. I really didn't pay a lot of attention to her.
I got closer, enough to say hello.
"Hello. I didn't expect to see anyone way out here." She smiled, it was like the Sun came out.
"I live in the house." I told her, pointing.
She squinted that direction, finally making out the very tip of the roofline.
"I didn't even know a house was there."
"Few do." I told her. I looked at her more closely, she couldn't have been more than twenty, maybe twenty-five.
"I come out to sunbathe sometimes." she offered.
"To warm myself."
I just nodded, her comment seemed a little odd. Just then I got signal from my equipment. I squatted down, sifted the sand with my screening tool, came up with a dark quarter. I wiped it off and read the date, 1975. Just a quarter, I started to drop it into my pouch.
"What did you find?" she asked, interested now.
"Only a quarter."
"Really? You find money? Just laying there?" She rolled over to her knees, clutching the cover to herself.
It hit me that she was naked underneath as the material dropped and bared most of the top of one breast.
She spotted my gaze, grinned.
"I wasn't wearing a suit." she explained.
"Oh. No problem, there is no one around."
"You are around." she showed dazzling teeth as her head tipped back with a laugh.
"I am just an old man," I told her. "I will go on down the beach and let you be."
"It's all right. Do you mind if I...?"
She didn't wait for an answer, just slipped the cover off and lay it on the sand. I noticed the cover when she did that, it seemed to be..maybe a skin of some kind, perhaps plastic?
The sudden full nudity surprised me, I must have stared for a moment. Her breasts were small but firm and high, her stomach was flat as it is possible to be. The tuft of pubic hair between her legs was untrimmed at the sides and full. I am sure I stared, startled.
She looked up, caught my eye, smiled.
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to stare...."
"It's all right, I don't mind. I just don't like crowds. Plus the young guys are always..you know." She tossed her hair, gave off a soft giggle.
Well, I guess I did know, I was suddenly feeling a bit young myself.
"Want some water?" she asked.
She turned to reach for the small sachel beside her, lifting one side of her behind off the sand as she stretched out. A bit of pink came into view, then more. I saw the sand stuck to her skin, I knew she had to realize she was flashing her loins at me.
I felt my breath catch, I felt a stirring as my body reacted. It had been a very long time since I saw a nude female, even in pictures.
She turned back, handed me a bottle of water. I took it, watched as she tipped her head back and drank. I was sure she arched her back, showing off the lines of her breasts nicely.
I took a sip, it was cool but slightly...salty?
Old man be damned, my mind went blank for a moment at the vision before me. Then blushing, I turned away, started moving on down the beach. I glanced back a few times, she was stretched out on her back. The sunlight seemed to make her milk chocolate colored skin shine, the long dark hair actually flashed in the light. Her arms and legs seemed...longer than normal for her body?
I looked at the muscles of her arms, her legs. They looked strong, powerful. The fact that she must work out popped into my head.
"That is one beautiful young lady!" I thought to myself.
Then I managed to shake off the more lecherous thoughts that slipped into my head. It had been so many years since I had been with my Martha, so many years since I had even seen a woman's full beauty.
I spent a solid hour working down the beach, not really finding much. I seldom did, but it was fun to do and a person never knows. I noticed as I headed back that she was still there. As I got closer I called out to let her know I was coming back by.
She rolled over on her side, propped up on one elbow and watched me hunt. I got a strong signal when I was about 50 feet away, this one was deep. I got my tiny folding shovel out of my pack, began to dig, checking each shovelful of sand with the detector to make sure whatever I was reading wasn't in it.
I was down a good foot when she hopped up and came over to me.
"What is it?" she asked.
"Not sure, the reading is heavy and it is deep."
"Maybe a gold coin, or jewelry?"
"Maybe gold, I found one coin out here a couple of years ago."
"Oh, neat!" She exclaimed, then she squatted right down by the hole I was digging, looking inside.
Her knees were apart, she was sitting on the balls of her feet not 2 feet from me. I almost dropped the shovel.
"Oops!" she giggled. "Sorry." That smile lit her face again as she closed her legs slightly.
That really didn't help a hell of lot.
I turned my attention back to my digging, then I rescanned the hole. It was still in there, close now so I took my probe and gently poked the sand. I felt the tip touch something hard, probed sideways to find the edge.
One twist of the wrist and a gold colored chain appeared, I lifted it out and brushed the grains of sand from it.
"Oh, my! That is beautiful!" she gasped.
Yes, it was. A solid gold chain, at the base hung a small pendent, a green stone I knew was Jade. It was dainty, feminine.
I saw her looking at it, excited. I don't know why I did it, but I handed it to her. It just seemed fitting somehow.
"Here. This is for you. A pretty thing for a pretty lady."
She looked at me, her eyes blinked. She smiled, reached out and took the necklace, slipped it over her head.
I looked at her, it hung to just above her bare breasts, the flash of color only real Gold can have set off perfectly against her skin.
She stepped forward, hugged me, kissed my cheek.
"Thank you! She reached down, lifted the stone, smiled.
What the hell, It was worth it just for her smile.
"I have to go. I will come back to here, see you again?"
I just nodded.
She turned and ran back to where her sachel lay, pulled the strap over her head. I noticed it lay tight to her body. Then she ran towards the water, dove in. Her strokes were strong, powerful. She crested the second breakers, gave a wave of her arm and.....vanished.
I stood there in shock. Then I was running, into the water, shouting.
"Hey! Hey! Wait!"
I dove, reaching this way and that, trying to find her, I felt nothing, finally exhausted, I managed to crawl back up the beach.
I looked everywhere for a sign, for her head to be bobbing in the surf. There was nothing.
I sat there on the sand for a long time, my mind in turmoil. Why would she do that, why?
Then I looked down, saw the footprints where her feet had dug into the sand as she ran. They looked strange, I had seen many footprints over the years.
I looked closer, the area between her toes was bunched.
Those weren't toes.
They had to be webbed.
It hit me what I had just seen.
I gathered my gear, headed back to my simple home.
I had a feeling I would see her again.