I am three or four. We’re living in North Carolina and on holiday with my mum’s family. It’s hot, the sand is completely white and my sister who is about one is gulping it dark line sugar. The picnic blanket has red in it. My parents notice my sister’s new sand obsession and begin to fuss. A day from somewhere on the parched out beach wonders over and starts sniffing. The dog is massive and dripping saliva. It barks at me. Blind panic. I ran. I just run across the beach in and out a f of having and sun burnt feet. I run because something snapped in me; because now I have started I can’t stop: because the sand is burning my feet, because if I stop I will be totally lost in a crowd of strangers. I run+run fast.
Suddenly, hands grab me. I stop … I don’t know what she’s saying, I don’t want her touching me. The sand burns my feet. I want to keep running.
Then behind me is my mum, red and sweating. And then everything is all right again.