Quebec and mommy are at the beach with daddy. quebec has her special red beach box and toys. Towels and beach chairs are unfolded and they sit in the safe of the big umbrella. quebec and mommy wear matching sun hats so there will be no burns like last time and matching swimsuits and sandals, all red. The waves run down their sandcastle and quebec moves her bucket through the sand. Mommy puts a kiss on quebec’s head and they are happy. quebec says, i feel safe. Mommy and daddy hold hands. Quebec goes to rest on the beach towel for bedtime in the sun and listens to mommy and daddy talk about what’s for dinner. Mommy watches quebec lay in the sun and daddy cuts open the watermelon. Quebec daydreams of living in a big dollhouse with so many large animals that love to eat cheerios and swim through the trees with mommy and daddy always there. She imagines that she is the ocean wave that screams down every sandtown and sandhouse and that she is the sand queen and leader of the entire beach. Quebec grabs a slice of watermelon and then turns her beach towel into a cape and she is a hero, mommy says it is nice and covers her with sunscreen. mommy gets sunscreen in quebec’s eye and she almost starts to cry. Mommy and daddy put sunscreen on each other and say we love you, quebec, everything is ok and we love you.
There is the smell of coconut sunscreen and watermelon and daddy opens a bag of chips. Quebec uses her shovel from the beach box to make tortillas out of the wet sand. mommy says the seagulls want snacks and they line up the chips like stars on the sand. the sun is very bright and quebec has to put on her sunglasses to see where the seagulls are. some of them are splashing in the water and maybe trying to eat the crabs crawling in the sand. Quebec finishes her tortillas. Mommy and daddy hold her in the water and she floats like an angel as her parents float her back and forth. Quebec wants to get ice cream and suddenly there is an ice cream cone in her hand even though they are swimming. She shouts quebec is an ice cream angel and mommy and daddy shout the same. Suddenly mommy and daddy are gone and quebec feels sand everywhere and itches her arms and neck. She looks for mommy and daddy and they are faraway down the beach, washing another little child in a bathtub and taking quebec’s special big blue cup that she only uses and giving it to another baby.
Quebec starts to cry and her tears come out as big as her hands and make the ocean even bigger. Soon she is engulfed by a teardrop wave. The water is a big blanket covering her and it is hard to see, she looks up from beneath the water and the surface looks like the night sky. There are glass bubbles with air inside all around her and she grasps at them so she can breath. Mommy and daddy are walking on the water right above her and they are frantic as they search and call out her name, quebec quebec, where are you. The sound of her name moves and spirals down into the water and becomes rocks and snakes which surround quebec and fill her with heaviness. The water is night-time now and dark but below her the ocean floor is white. The sand sparkles like crystals. There are stars above and below and Quebec cannot decide where to look. she closes her eyes and grabs onto a fish, who says, why are you here, where is your mommy and daddy, and then swims away. Quebec begins to sink and sink to the bottom of the ocean, where the white sand becomes a glittering whirlpool about to swallow her. Quebec flails her arms and kicks and punches and cries into the water and she feels the sand all around her, it swallows her body and her arms and shoulders and quebec takes one last breath before her head goes beneath the sand. and then she feels mommy’s arms around her. quebec is awake, she is safe. She cries where is daddy, i want daddy, and mommy smooths quebec’s hair with warm hands and says i know i know but daddy can’t be with us now because he is passed away. Quebec cries and tells mommy that he was at the beach with us. Mommy kisses quebec’s forehead and sings lullabies from quebec’s favorite children’s music cassette and she wipes her tears away without quebec seeing. they fall asleep side by side together and are safe. quebec’s night-light turns the ceiling into stars.