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Brink of Sunset

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The sun stands still on the horizon.

The point where water meets shore is a picturesque moment, frozen in time, the waves lapping at sand without moving.

The woman in blue stands knee-deep in the water. Her gaze is fixed, unerring, on a point somewhere distant.

This is the end.

"Wait," says the woman in red. In the timeless still, her voice seems to die as soon as it passes her lips. But the other hears her nonetheless.

The woman in blue doesn't move. The woman in red takes her picture.

"Look over here."

The woman in blue turns her head just slightly. The woman in red takes her picture again.

This is all she'll have to remember her by.

She has to make it count.

They spend what feels like hours on the beach. They frolic together in the surf, the water refusing to dampen their dresses and stockings—it would need time to do so. She takes pictures of her would-be lover, the only way she knows to make this moment truly last forever. But what really makes time seem to stand still—more so than it already literally is—is the way the woman in blue kisses her.

Finally the woman in blue pulls out of their shared embrace and turns away.

It's time to go.

The woman in blue walks into the water and time starts again.

The woman in the red does the only thing she knows how: She scrambles back to her camera and takes more pictures.

Something opens up and swallows the woman in blue.

She's gone like she was never there in the first place.

When the woman in red takes a closer look, she sees that the woman in blue isn't the only one pictured. She wonders when the woman in blue had the chance to take these pictures of her, and she wonders why she bothered

—and then she realizes.

It's for the same reason she took the pictures of the woman in blue.

It's morning when she returns to the beach. The sun rises behind her as she faces the water, calling out for her lover.

Time freezes once more and the air ripples. The woman in blue appears, hand outstretched, and the woman in red smiles broadly, relieved.

Hand-in-hand they vanish.

The photographs remain behind, the only evidence of their existence on this plane.

They leave for somewhere else together.

It's worth it.