David Clark is a British businessman, who lived and worked in Bulgaria for 12 years before retiring to Norfolk U.K. He is writing short stories and poems. When he was living in Sofia, he had published stories in different media. A contributor to “Sofia Echo” newspaper. He had received an award for a short story from “Manager” magazine. At the moment he is living in England and sending stories to the expat site Sofia Globe. David is married to Galya, his Bulgarian wife for 16 years. He is a member of Writers Club in Hethersett, Norfolk and publish short stories in local media as „Village people“and others.
A man picks his way carefully down the broken stone steps. He looks up at the rustic red roofs, surrounding the bay. He whistles to his dog and strides along the shore, his fresh footprints make the first trail of the day. The sun creeps lazily out of bed sending glittering rays across a flat blue sea. A soft breeze tries to rid the umbrellas of their morning dew. An ice cream wrapper tumbles along the deserted sand, a refugee of yesterday. The beach is silent, except for the breaking waves waiting for the day and the arrival of its new guests.
The crimson ball of fire climbs even higher in the sky, its heat helping the still damp umbrellas into a flapping mass of brash, bright colours. The first family struggle under the burden of their bags. Burdened like donkeys they carry enough to sustain life for a whole day on the beach; mats, towels, sun hats, beach toys, drinks, swimming costumes, sun lotion. The cries of the children mingle with the calling sea birds, the loudspeakers wait silently.
Family by family, couple by couple, person by person the invasion continues. The sand quickly disappears under today’s worshippers, fat ones, thin ones, young, old white, tanned, topless, happy, sad, loud, quiet. All find precious space for their prayer mats. Then coating themselves, the voluntary roasting begins.
A mobile phone trills, one by one the loudspeakers belch out their cacophony, the sound of chalga and rap drift in the wind, children scream, mothers shout, beach boys cry out “Tsarevitsa molya”, “Mineralna voda”, “Sladoled” Young men kick beach balls and cry out over their beer bottles, girls flaunt their suntanned bodies, lovers kiss, mature men peep from behind their spectacles, middle aged women regretting their lost youth, try to hide their winter excesses. The sun showing no mercy, laughs at their sizzling bodies.
The warm sea is crowded with escapees, roasted pink and brown bodies glisten in the cooling waves. A small fishing boat rides the swell into the harbour, new supplies for the insatiable appetites. Water skiers, yachts, paddle boats, jet skis and swimmers fight for space with the blue jelly fish. The café’s are crowded with happiness, havens in the breeze and shade. The brown legged waitresses dodge around the tables with trays of “nasdrave”, beer, vodka, rakia, shopska salata, tsatsa, skumria.
In the afternoon, tired of the seething masses below, the sun wearily starts to make its way to bed, sinking towards the horizon. The breeze cools, a shiver runs down the beach, T shirts appear. Mothers struggle to dress their children underneath the gaudy towels, the sun burnt bodies fight with their clothes. The retreat begins, the beach quietens, there’s space now, the music dies, but the sound of laughter can still be heard from the beach bars. Piles of rubbish tumble from the bins. The crimson ball of fire still peeps above the horizon, but its power has gone.
A man picks his way carefully over the broken stone steps, he whistles to his dog and strides along the shore, his footprints mingle with the prints of tiny childrens toes, mothers, fathers, grannies, sandals, trainers, high heels, dogs, seagulls. His dog sniffs and snuffles through the rubbish in ecstasy. The calm grey sea washes the beach, and waits for tomorrow.
© David Clark