Flash Fiction by Ranbir Sidhu
Not the whole foot, perhaps, but only the toes. Or perhaps not only the toes but the whole foot. Perhaps the ankle, the shins, the knees wet. Perhaps more than the whole foot dips into the water.
Not the whole body, but the chest, sometimes the arms, or if the whole body then the whole body is gone, disappeared. It is a lost body, a dark shape under cold water, the shadow of a cloud.
And if not standing, then crouching, and if not crouching, then shivering, arms wrapped around oneself, water dripping onto the sand.
And if not the sound of a motorboat, it is the sound of a helicopter; and if not the latter, then the former. Not fading, not thinning the way a motor lost to distance does, but pushing up on itself, one sound beaching on the dune of the one ahead.
Not sun, or not sun any longer; or if sun, then a sun hidden, a total eclipse; and if not sun, then night, clouds covering the stars; and if not clouds, then one's eyes do not even bother to look up as one runs.
Not your own breath, running, the sound of footfalls on the sand, on the hard gravel, on the grass, on the pavement, on the grass. The sound of footfalls behind as one runs on the grass and the sound of footfalls on the gravel come ahead, close in, grow louder, the sound of one's footfalls on the gravel and the sound, behind, of feet on the sand.