He shut the door carefully behind him and jumped on his bicycle, adjusting his backpack so it wouldn’t jostle around too much on the way to the dunes. He parked his bike behind a big trash drum and pulled out his dad’s old binocs, hanging them around his neck and shouldering the pack as he headed across the dunes to his favorite spot.
Settled in the sand, he scanned the beach. The regulars were there, little sanderlings and black oystercatchers. He saw some pelagics flying offshore. Ordinarily, he’d be keeping a close eye in case one of them flew in to shore as they sometimes did. Today he was in search of bigger game. Old man Ruiz said he heard a whooper swan when he was picking up oysters in the evening. Stefan had been dubious, but Senor Ruiz did know his birds, and Stefan didn’t want to miss a whooper if he had the chance.
So here he was at dawn with the usual little shorebirds and not much more…when he saw her. The most beautiful woman he’d ever seen, wearing a fancy white dress like in an old movie. Her dark hair was piled on her head, and her dress was open in the back. He was too starstruck to even pick up his binocs for a closer look as she wandered with dreamy barefoot steps across the white sand. Something swirled around her, like sheets of paper, and Stefan thought one fell out of her dress, picked up by the wind and swirling away.
To be continued...