It was such a simple idea, to take a walk around the rocks.
It was a beautiful day. The sun shone. It was warm but not too warm as they strolled along the beach.
The tide was going out for an hour more before it turned. There would be rock pools to look in with anemones, shellfish and maybe fish or octopi. A walk had the advantage of leaving their squabbling parents behind, with their complicated divorce and remarriage plans. Still living at home Tony, Wayne, Stevie and Livie spent much of their time avoiding any place two or more of their parents were together. Hence the walk.
Livie, squatting down to see the display in a rock pool, noticed it first. “It’s only been twenty minutes, hasn’t it?” Her appeal was aimed at any of the others wearing a watch.
Tony checked his. “Not even that. Why do you ask?”
“The water’s getting higher,” she looked up, “not just with each wave, but staying higher.”
“Hey, Wayne,” Tony yelled at his brother who was looking for fossils in the cliff, “little Dougall thinks the tide’s turned.”
Wayne glanced towards them and started. “Something has. We have to get up the cliff, now!”
Stevie looked up out to sea from what she was doing and started running.
Tony grabbed Livie by her arm, dragging her along then pushing her up the cliff before he passed her and tried to pull her up behind him. Spray from breaking waves was wetting her feet.
Livie was the shortest so couldn’t climb as fast as the others. Despite help, she was waist deep in water and still below the cliff top when the wave broke over her head.
Then a firm hand from underneath gave her a boost.