Jeryn looked down reflexively, her bare foot having landed on a rock that did not feel like the others. She stutter-stepped back to see the partially buried Petoskey stone peeking out from the pale sand. The late-day sun caught it differently than it did the lakeshore, which glittered with bubbles of foam each time a wave receded.
Stooping, she plucked it from its bed, rubbing the pad of her thumb over the surface, battered by the wake until it was free of bumps. The jagged lines of white fossilized coral broke up the grey of the stone, emphasizing the way it was two things at once, just like her.
She took a long, cleansing breath, letting it out through her nose before inhaling again. This time the scent of other beachcombers caught her notice, and she flicked a glance at the inky indigo of the sky as the sun dipped into Gichigami. She didn’t have long now. Squeezing the stone in her palm, she unfurled to her full height, and padded across the beach to the tree line, making squeaking divots in the sand as the prints grew larger with each footfall.
©️b.r. hill-mann 2019