I was sitting on the beach, waiting for you. Actually, “sitting” isn’t quite the word. I was thinking about the last time we met on the beach and “sitting” was not anatomically possible.

The warm sun spread itself over my body. I could feel it seeping deep into my skin. The sand, though, for some reason, was chilled. I lay back, covering myself to hide my thoughts, and shifted to get more comfortable.

The sand WAS chilly, and seemed to be getting colder. Not the refreshing cool like an iced tea on a hot day, but a dark, dank cool of a cellar or a cave. The pervading chill crept up my spine. I decided to move my towel over to some sand that had been warmed by the sun.

Back on warm sand again, I laid on my stomach, hoping the hot sun could take the chill out of my back. Damn! The sand underneath me was cold again. Colder than before, and the chill, on my stomach this time, was a nauseous chill. I’m not sure whether the feeling came from inside me or out, but it seemed as if the sand was shifting, maybe even slithering beneath me. I had images come into my head, seemingly from no-where, of slimy writhing worms tangled into one another or the rotting intestines of some Giant buried under the sand.

I rolled over on my back again, beginning to feel drained and sickly. There was no-one else on the beach. I looked up and the sky was clouding… more than clouding, it was darkening like an oncoming storm, or something else. Clouds were converging from all parts of the sky and forming a heavy mass directly above. Quickly, I stood to gather my stuff and leave, but as I got up, nausea gripped my stomach and my head swooned as I shuffled to regain my balance.

My footing began to slip. I thought it was because I was dizzy, but when I looked down I saw the sand was slipping away under my feet. A whirlpool of sand was forming in front of me, sucking down as it turned. I stood, hypnotized by the sight, Terror clenching inside me. Suddenly, there was a CRACK of lightning. The flash stunned me into wakefulness and I turned and broke into a run. But the faster I ran, the more the sand slipped out from under my feet and was sucked into the widening curl of doom. I looked back and saw that the whirlpool had widened into a hole, a chasm, a pit of complete blackness.

The stench of rotting flesh belched up from the abyss and clenched at my senses. I could feel a cold, malevolent force nipping at my heels and clutching at my ankles. Frantically, I tried to scramble up what was quickly becoming a wall of sand. The beach below me was falling into the pit and sucking me in with it. I grabbed onto a root… or something hard that was sticking out of the sand. I shouted as it crumpled away. But just above me now, I could reach the low wooden fence that protected the dunes. I jumped up, snatched at it, and caught on with my fingertips. I worked my way up and wrapped my arm around the post, achieving a hold I knew I could maintain. Relieved enough to make my mistake, I risked a look down, down into the cold, deadly pit. As soon as I looked, I knew I was doomed. The black maw gaped at me and began sucking at my soul. A wailing sound rose that resounded in my mind, clutching at the very tendrils of my sanity. The wailing became a buzzing that shook my spirit, the buzzing became an alarm that demanded my attention.

With a will of its own, my hand released the fence and reached for the snooze button as I plunged into wakefulness.