The rains let up and Parentheses Miller took note of the sand between her and the shore. It was bone-dry, as was she. The sunlight played on the surface of the waters of the Hambone Sea and great Gulliper birds dove low for shallow-swimming prackle-fish.
Parentheses looked at the most peculiar object in the palm of her pale, fragile hand, and then raised her eyes to the horizon. Her gaze was lost in the sunlight and the clear, blue skies that stretched for miles and even unto eternity. Something like the perfume of sourwood blossoms floated through the salty breeze and a warm breath like that belonging to God almighty broke the chill of a new Autumn day on the tiny archipelago. Parentheses stood up and slowly walked back across the dry white sand, suddenly hot beneath her feet. Gulliper birds smiled down upon her.
The strangely dark, wet footprints that she left on the dry white sand marked Parentheses' path to the water and disappeared into the sunlight-dappled waves. With a kick, she slipped beneath the waves and gently returned the most peculiar object to the place amongst the rocks where she had found it. Parentheses surfaced once again and made her way to the shore, the prackle-fish this time granting a reprieve to her raw, bony ankles. The sunlight felt warm on her shoulders as she stood at the water's edge.
Parentheses turned to look again at the horizon. The confusing symbol was clear in her memory, as it would always be. The clear, blue skies stretched for miles and even unto eternity, and for the second time that day she felt content to be the eldest daughter of an English teacher on this little archipelago in the Hambone Sea.