When the Sunlight Dies
The world hovered in its rotation, held in place for one long, perfect second.
It was the instant that the sun hit the horizon, just at the right angle so that the ocean caught all its light and splayed it out across the salt-soaked panorama, mirroring it a thousand times over. Sunsets happen daily, true, but this one made the waves themselves halt on the shore in awe. The sky above swept through a soft pastel color wheel, electric yellow mixing with bright orange and bleeding into seashell pink, delicate lavender, darker lilac, and distant blue-gray that gathered and darkened to indigo once the shadows started to lengthen. But for the moment it was all dazzlingly bright and alive.
They stared at the sun, eyes barely burning - this was a sun that demanded to be stared at. They drank in the lit-up star somewhere out in space and yet simultaneously suspended on the skyline, the spiraling color wheel, the way the waves were now green and cerulean and steel at the surface, as the water lapped at their sun-kissed skin and sand squished between their toes. They stood silently enraptured, monoliths casting dark silhouettes on the dunes.
It was one second, one blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment, one that could never be duplicated or caught on film and would only ever be committed to memory, one that would die with them, indescribable and lost to history.
But they had it now, and in this instant, as they stood on the shore with fingers intertwined and salt on the air, it was enough. It was more than enough.