I knew straight away I’d made a mistake, but there wasn’t anything I could do about it.
The golden sandy beach felt soft and warm in the late summer sun, the gently lapping waves cool and temptingly refreshing. I had been here many times as a child, the scene of endless play, when life was simple and time free.
But now, things had changed. Removing my sneakers for a paddle, I momentarily set down my car keys on the sand. Immediately, they began to sink beneath. Next I saw my heels gradually following, the wet sand below the surface slowly enveloping my bare ankles. I clutched and pulled in desperation at the car keys, but an irresistible and unnatural force was mercilessly sucking them, and me, below.
One word flashed across my mind: quicksand.
I tried calling to the few other bathers nearby, splashing merrily in the waves, but for some reason struggled to make myself heard. Why couldn’t they hear me? Couldn’t they see what was happening? Why was the lifeguard looking the other way? And why was it that only my pocket of the beach was affected by quicksand, and not theirs? The damp, clinging clay was now wrapping itself around my knees. Would I be left to just continue my downward trajectory, sinking completely without trace, powerless to resist, and noone noticing that I had gone?
The ring of my phone snapped me back to the reality of the Court House coffee bar. It was my lawyer. The jury had reached a verdict. It was time to go back into the courtroom.