“Hang on! Hang on! Here comes another!”
But the heavy part of the wave passed by as the clump of them stood on the end of the jetty. A spray of water dowsed them, and then another. At any moment one could be picked off by the churning sea and tossed against the rocks. Then a fragile skull against a boulder and what would be left of that young person? Eventually only a memory held close by some but more distant by others. For none of them realized it but a silent clock was constantly ticking against the background of their deeds; and it would keep going, with or without them. They could all die now. One could die tomorrow or in a decade. But there was bliss in the not knowing
“That was dumb,” Sam said, shaking off the salt water from his gray overcoat.
“Maybe the stupidest thing I’ve even done,” Derick answered, twisting his long hair and wringing it out. The others mingled about in clumps, talking in uneven tones. Some screamed and others whispered. The thick night, heavy and dense over the ocean, was a screen against ready identification.
They all went back to the beach house, loud and singing. Someone yelled from a window:
“PLEASE BE QUIET! THIS ISN’T A COLLEGE TOWN!”
“But it will be!” Derick yelled back. And in a few minutes they were back. Someone lit a pipe and passed it around. Another picked up a guitar and lazily strummed some chords. In the corner was an old piano, and holding only the faintest notion of a melody, Sam softly tried to play along.