A confusing memory for Parentheses Miller left this delicate, fragile daughter of an English teacher desperately searching for softer, whiter sand. Sand is only so soft, it seems, and it can only get so white. She dropped down and sat with her legs crossed, sitting right at the edge of the water, where the warmish waves lapped at her bottom. The prackle-fish hiccuped from a distance.
There was a smile in the sky that had not been there earlier, and Parentheses smiled back. The smile broadened, and soon the lips of the sky reached from horizon to horizon. They opened ever so slightly and made the sound of a Gulliper bird. Parentheses called back. The lips sang in harmony with the call of the surf and the prackle-fish danced beneath the waves. Parentheses stood up once again and brushed the wet sand from her bottom.
With five great strides, Parentheses strode to the beach-side altar. She felt the sand, once again hot beneath her feet, and it seemed like a suction on her arches and on her heels – her legs could barely pull her feet along for each step. Reaching the beach-side altar, she removed the single pearl on the fine gold chain that hung around her neck. This she placed on the altar.
“Come down,” she seemed to say, to the unknown god. “Come down and receive my offering.” All was silence around Parentheses Miller, however. No conversation was forthcoming. No words spoken to an unknown god. No instruction or prophecy from the same. Parentheses stood before the altar with eyes wide open, hands spread out to the heavens, feet sinking deeper and deeper into the fine, powdery sand.
In a moment, in a heartbeat, the pearl on the fine gold chain turned as black as night and was swallowed in a tiny puff of smoke. Parentheses pulled her legs from the deep white sand and returned to the water's edge, content to know that a confusing memory could forever stay a confusing memory and that softer, whiter sand could never be as cool and as perfect as the water's edge. The prackle-fish hummed with glee at her return, and Parentheses laid down to make sand-angels in the sun-dappled surf.