Write a story set during your most recent vacation.
A heron stood by the shore.
I have of course seen herons in my lifetime, but never one so close. Even as I stepped near it, it stood its ground, gazing out over the horizon of the Atlantic. Two long tendrils of – what? Feathers? Hair? – waved in the breeze like a topknot on its head. It seemed rooted in the sand, and but for the occasional slight turn of its head, one would think it to be a statue.
I managed to get within three feet of the heron before it lifted one of its long legs and took a step aside. I stopped, and slowly sat down where I was. The heron rooted itself back into the sand and regarded me briefly with a quizzical gaze – as if I were the curiosity on the beach.
It wasn’t a glorious beach day by any means. It was overcast, and the ceiling of clouds undulated like a grey mirror of the green glass water below it. I watched the white caps on the water in the distance. Who knew what wonders nature could whip up from one moment to the next in such an environment? Behind me, above the beach, houses stood, still nursing wounds from Hurricane Ivan. That had been nearly a year ago, but the damage was still evident.
With thoughts of raging wind and spraying salt water in mind, my eyes searched the horizon for bigger waves, lightning, tall masts in the hazy distance. This was, after all, Florida’s treasure coast, and many a galleon had disappeared beneath the waves of the Atlantic. The host at the treasure museum said that frequently, after a storm, it was not uncommon to find the chance doubloon mixed in with the sand dollars after the tide went out.
But today was just a gloomy day, unthreatening, maybe heralding a drizzle or sprinkle or mist. I sincerely doubted that the chilly breeze coming off the Atlantic at the moment was going to bring me gold. I looked up at the heron from my spot nearby and wondered what he was watching the waves for. It looked back at me as if to ask me the same thing.