The weather was changing, the sun already less fierce, mellowing gently towards autumn.
Fewer families on the beach, but there was the usual backdrop of noise, laughter, gulls keening, and the thwack of tiny spades against even tinier sandcastles.
Then, something else… a murmur of concern, barely audible at first, but then rising in volume. People glanced up, scrambled to their feet, hands shielding their eyes from the glare as they scanned the glittering surface of the sea. Dogs barked in worried anticipation, racing up and down the shoreline, venturing cautiously into the creaming waves to greet bathers who’d begun running from the water, scooping up kids on the way.
One lone woman could be seen, heading in the opposite direction, jostling through the oncoming crowds towards the waves, an anxious whimper escalating into a crescendo of abject terror.
We abandoned our ice creams to melt into the sand, snatching up our towels and picnic baskets as we shepherded our family from the beach, resolutely closing our ears to approaching sirens, and the screams and thrashing water behind us.
Within minutes the surface of the sea was calm once more, a fin circling lazily in a spreading bloom of crimson.
A second stab at an old (2013) Friday Fictioneers 100 word story, revamped to indulge in the luxury of a further 100 words for Sunday Photo Fiction.