December 8, 2007

The store swam about her, the mist of perfume, the waves of shoppers through the aisles, the pearls at the jewelry counter. She had come with a list, but it slipped from her hand like a shell falling back to the ocean floor.

On a nearby shelf loaded with crystal, a music box played, tinkling like a boardwalk midway somewhere down the beach. She gasped a bit, wishing she could catch her breath in the riptide of the season.

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