The waves rear to greet her, then curl forward and fall, toppling over themselves as they race. With a squeal of delight, the girl runs towards them: arms flinging, fingers splayed, hair tossed by the sea-salted wind. The wet sand below her pounding feet is a mirror of the sky but she only has eyes for the sea. He rushes towards her and she runs away, only to turn and chase the retreating water. Giggling and shrieking, she runs back and forth, teasing him. For a moment, she hesitates as he pulls back, gathering his energy. She takes a step. Then another. He surges forward and manages to nip her toes, making her scream and dance. Finally, she gives in.
She twists round without moving her feet, enjoying the tug of the tide and the sand trickling beneath her soles. A man and woman stand on the dry sand behind her.
‘Cathy!’ the man shouts. ‘What are you doing? Your jeans are soaking.’
‘Let her be.’ The woman beams at the girl. ‘She’s playing.’