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Laying on the beach was not always the most relaxing thing for Saori. It was one thing to sit on a stormy coastline and watch the waves, but it was another thing entirely to be asked by a friend to have a ‘beach day’ where it didn’t spontaneously break into a thundershower. The goddess had few mortal friends she would willingly do so with, but Doctor Leblanc was one of those few. However, even the pleasant company did not make the sunny afternoon any less difficult for the storm-spirit.

Lying under a large umbrella, Saori sighed heavily as she shifted atop her sandy towel. In the brief period she’d gone out from under the shade, she had already acquired a rather nasty sunburn despite taking every precaution. As someone accustomed to being followed by storm clouds, it wasn’t all that surprising that she burned so easily. The bathing suit that Adele had given her was equally discomforting, a simple one-piece suit that adequately covered her chest and hips by modern standards, but for someone accustomed to wearing long dresses it was quite different. It had taken the goddess almost an hour and quite a bit of pointed snark from her friend to change out of her loose fitting sundress and into the much snugger swim suit.

Grumbling, she rolled over, trying to find a position where the burned portions of her skin weren’t touching the ground. Finally, she settled in on her stomach and began to read. On the towel rested a worn copy of La Comtesse de Cagliosro, a gift from the doctor and an enticement for her to come out in the first place, exchanged for a copy of Oku no Hosomichi. One delicate hand turned the pages, while another clutched a sandy bottle of tea, carefully moving so as not to get sand or moisture on the well-loved tome. The condensation on the outside of the cool container had caused a great deal of muck to stick to the exterior, giving it a grainy texture in her hands as it clung to her palm.

“Blech,” Saori sourly pouted for a moment, attempting to wipe the slimy sand off onto a nearby towel, and failing. This wasn’t really an ideal day, but Adele loved the ocean as much as she loved the mountains, and it was a shared vacation.

“It can’t get any worse,” she grumbled, when all of a sudden a barking sound came from nearby. Before Saori could react, a large dog came barreling across the sand, chasing after a thrown Frisbee that had accidentally flown over her refuge. The enormous Great Dane sent sand, umbrella, and storm goddess in all directions as it charged on, heedless of the unfortunate woman’s anguished howl.

“Oh, why do I let myself get tricked into these situations!”

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木村沙織

August 2015

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