It was the sea disappearing and the thing in his brain, passed down for millions of years by his genetic ancestors, that screamed, no, but he ignored both and made for the conch.
Mellissa would approve.
Mellissa who saw what she shouldn’t have seen.
Another vibration and the sand sucks even more fervently at his feet. The wet heat at his strength and the knowledge on the drier side of this beach that even if he does get the beautiful Fibonacci-sequenced white and pink shell, Mellissa will still be on a plane back to New York in an hour.
He pulls his legs out of knee-deep muck and gets closer the shell bouncing on the wet sand as if it wants to disappear within.
What would become of its beauty then, he wonders.
It would break down and disappear and the world would never know it was even here. Gone forever. Erased by time.
And as he lays a single finger on the shell that is exactly what happens to them both, eventually.