Before the Beach House

Thomas opened the door and looked down at the woman lying in the sand at the foot of his porch. “Do you need help, Sue?”

“No.” Susan looked up at the darkening sky and felt her heart throb in her chest as the shock of her skid across the asphalt started to fade.

Thomas stepped out onto the porch and looked down the street after Susan’s partner and then eyed the blood staining the sand underneath Susan. “You sure? That looked painful.”

“Everything’s fine here.” She lifted a hand up into the air and waved it in Thomas’ direction. “You can go back inside, Tom. I’ll follow in a few minutes.”

“Alright.” Thomas turned away but paused at the door. “Make sure to brush the sand off before you come inside.”

“But it’s a beach house, Tom.” Susan let her arm fall to her side and tried to turn her head toward her older brother. Her neck screamed in protest, so she stopped.

Thomas sighed and turned around again. “Yes, but I want the beach to stay outside.”

“Sure thing, Bro.” Susan smirked and pointed two finger-guns at the sky. Thomas walked inside. “Yep.” Susan let her hands slowly fall back to the ground as a wave of pain swept through her again. “Everything’s pretty alright.”

Half an hour later, as the sky finally gave in to the sweeping darkness and the first stars appeared, Susan rolled to her front and stood up. Her back was caked in bloody sand, but she didn’t seem to notice it. Instead, she stared after the ex-partner who’d decided assault was an appropriate response to being bought out of a business she’d been holding back. Daisy would be someone else’s liability.

Berserk rages didn’t belong in shopkeeping. She’d be happier as an adventurer again.