The last holiday
We shelter under a cliff as dark clouds growl down at us. Mum’s arm clings to my waist as if I will be sucked into the sand. My sisters are wrapped together in a damp towel playing rock, paper, scissor. Boiled egg sandwiches drown on a china plate, balanced between a Thermos and five tin mugs. We fight for space on a paisley rug.
Dad stands with his back to the sea, pale office legs in rolled up corduroys, he wrestles his viewfinder with the wind. Smile he repeats as he back-steps towards the waves. The empty beach is a battlefield of footprints. Gulls circle, eying our crusts. The tide creeps inwards, stalking Dad’s heels.