Dorothy Anderson loved and feared the sea in equal measure. She whiled away long summer days in a striped chair, placed in the doorway of her candy-coloured beach hut.
Today, her pleasure had been derived from watching a family, the parents relaxing in deckchairs, the little girl building and decorating sandcastles, and the boy digging.
The tide was rushing in as they left, and Dorothy was in a hurry to get her feet wet, just up to her ankles – her early evening ritual.
When the family returned the next day, the deep, deep hole had gone. And so had Dorothy.
Helen Laycock, previously a lead writer at Visual Verse, features in several editions of The Best of CafeLit. Recently longlisted by Mslexia, pieces are showcased in Popshot, Poems for Grenfell, Full Moon and Foxglove, The Caterpillar, Cabinet of Heed, Reflex Fiction and Lucent Dreaming, whose inaugural flash competition she won. She tweets as @helen_laycock
Photo credit @helloimnick at http://www.unsplash.com