Ah, such an idyllic scene. Two lovers strolling down the beach arm in arm while the waves lap gently at their feet. The moon is out in full, the stars dance and twinkle in the nighttime sky and the ocean glows with their reflection. The beach is abandoned except for them and those little sand crabs that appear and disappear with each passing wave. Their footprints look like a trail of breadcrumbs marking their journey along the shore. After awhile, they stop, they gaze into each others eyes and let passion wash over them.

They move back towards the dunes where the salt water can’t reach them and to ensure their privacy. They slowly undress each other and while standing clutch each other in a lovers embrace. Naked now, their bodies seem to glide downward toward the sand that is still warm after baking in the sun all day. Their passions wash over them like the comings and going of the tides and they roll in each other’s arms.

And then the tingling begins. Slowly at first but then soon it become unbearable and begins to sting and feels like tiny little needles are being driven into their pores. They are being bitten by sand fleas and a host of other tiny little creatures that call the beach their home. The sweat they produced causes the sand to stick to their naked bodies and makes its way into all of their personal cracks and crevices. It gathers in clumps and they try and brush it off them with the clothes they had shed only a few minutes earlier. The sand is stubborn though and they make a mad dash for the water and for the soothing cool comfort it will provide.

They reach their goal and when they are about knee deep they submerge themselves by diving headfirst into an oncoming wave. They look at other and begin to smile and giggle about their plight. The tide begins to carry them out a bit further and they can barely keep their feet down on the ocean floor. They drift along sideways parallel to the shore and bob up and down like two buoys and breathe in the silence.

The fire they soon begin to feel is not the fire of two young lovers. The uncaring ocean has decided to guide them into a school of jellyfish that just happened to be passing by in search of a meal. They are invisible to the eye but the pain they inflict is excruciating and real. Their tentacles lash out as the lovers struggle to make it back to the shore and the safety it will provide. They swim for all they are worth and when they are close enough they put their feet down into what seems like shards of glass but is only the remnants of crushed sea shells battered by the relentless waves and the ravages of time.

Gasping for breath, they make it to the shoreline, their feet bloody and their bodies tattooed with red welts that seem to pulsate with each beat of the heart. Naked in the moonlight they wander back to find their clothes crumpled and wet. They put them on quickly, avoiding each others eyes as if they were embarrassed of their actions. They walk together in silence, each of them nursing their own brand of pain.

The clerk at the hotel gives them a funny look when they finally make back to the lobby. They ignore his offer of assistance and head directly back to their room. They fall on to the bed, each one with their own side and are soon fast asleep.

The sheets never felt so cool and so wonderful.