Ships sat silhouetted against the horizon. A series of rising cumulus tufts; flat bottomed and looking like slow-motion explosions, or crowned and crested creatures; formed a line of calligraphic characters brushed onto the sky above the ruffled gray sea. The distant flash of a lighthouse beam on a far-off headland, a single pinprick of light forced through the fabric of weak daylight as if from a night past, or one still to come.
A stretched-out crescent of sand expanded as it approached, growing from an imperceptible squiggle in the distance; lost in the confusion of trees and rocks, houses and hills. It filled out into a broad swath of pale dun. Its dull weight running under the wharf and receding away in the other direction.
He struggled to figure out what to do next. The more he felt he had to act, the more his mind emptied out. He stood with his head cocked to one side, as if he were listening for some faint voice to tell him what to do.
So begins Susurrus.
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