Silence gave way to thunderous crashing.
Silence — crashing. Silence crashing. The cycle repeating like the ticking of a clock with the big hand indicating centuries and the small hand counting off the millennia.
Silence crashing. Silence crashing. The cliffs stalwartly resisting the sea’s constant assault. Do the rocks know how old they are? Do they brace for each wave and then celebrate the victory of holding their place as they watch each wave recede, defeated? The waves summon replacements from their infinite ranks of enlistees and fire another volley. The sea wages this frontal attack followed by flanking maneuvers but still the mighty granite remains, unscathed and confident.
Silence crashing. Silence crashing. Beatrice knew this cycle as intimately as she knew her own. She woke to it, worked to it, went to bed with it and was carried into slumber by it. She had long ago stopped counting the collisions of the waves on rock. At first, she missed the conscious assignment of a number to a breaking wave. Now however, instead of giving each wave a numerical value, she would appoint each with a name as she drifted into sleep. Naming each crashing swell of water as sleep overtook her, she found that her dreams started to be populated by a host of characters never previously encountered.
After exhausting the catalog of names with which she was familiar, Beatrice took to combining names or just outright making them up. Of course there was the inevitable Jimbill, Lisaalice, Cynthianna, and Timordrew. But the need for more names also gave rise to more creative monikers. As time went on, to these fabricated names Beatrice also assigned some personal characteristics such as profession, fashion sense, social station or appearance.
Names such as:
Rogmore: Spoiled prep school dropout.
Foxanna: Punk designer specializing in dresses made exclusively from flax harvested by hand in the moonlight.
Roomesher: Londoner by birth, Kashmiri by lineage. A programmer of rocket launch codes.
Callonia: Viennese mountain climber living in the Pyrenees.
Trebora: Flamenco dancer from Gibraltar.
But her very favorite from the imagined designates was Nalim, a diplomat from Czechoslovakia. He was tall, slender, dark haired and a marvelous ballroom dancer. It was her nocturnal encounters with Nalim that had begun to take on a rather luscious anticipation. For some time, Beatrice had had a similar feeling when it came to her daily tending to the many and varied flora and fauna at Minock. It was, in fact, her job at the celebrated outdoor theater perched on The Cliffs of Cornwall that afforded her proximity to the constant rhythmic pulsing of the sea against rock-face. The very pulsing that gave rise to her now nightly soirees with the Nalim.
Beatrice took to retiring somewhat earlier these days to spend a bit more time in conversation with the handsome Czech. These encounters now always included a stint on the dance floor, with Beatrice happily orbiting Nalim as he spun her to a Straus waltz. As they traversed the ballroom, Nalim held her raised hand with assurance, his other hand placed confidentially in the small of Beatrice’s back allowing her, as moon, to be tethered to her planet yet free to spin — floating above the floor in jubilant defiance of gravity.
They would dance and dance until a faint noise in the distance started to get louder, making the orchestra more difficult to hear. Then, to her dismay, she noticed the members of the ensemble — one by one — stopped playing. First the woodwinds disappeared, then the brasses, cellos and violas faded to nothingness. Finally, in the midst of an almost indistinct measure, the violins ceased their aural existence. As Nalim loosened his hands and bowed deeply (as to a Royal) Beatrice bid him farewell until their next meeting. Alone now, there was silence. And silence gave way to the thunderous crashing.