He walked the beach alone, this man. As he made his way--destination as unknown as origin--he troubled his mind for his own name. This only for a short while, however, before caving to the realization that he’d none. No name. Nothing. No true recollections, just a scattering of disjointed thoughts and images that made no sense. Either the wanderer had been a blank slate to begin with--not very likely--or there was something of him somewhere along the way behind him but that path was lost now. He couldn’t be certain either way.
It was of no consequence. Being alone as he was there was no one to tell his name to, no one to ask anything of him. The knowledge was almost liberating. Almost. Excepting for the fact that it was also disconcerting.
The dun beach was a wide swath and fell away both before and behind, lost on each horizon without discernable change or landmark. To his right a crest of rolling dunes and nothing more.
He was moving along the water’s vacillating edge, and despite the looks of it--dark grey and swirling and churning in angry motion as if mirroring the overcast sky above--it was not cold as he would have expected. He paused. Over his bare feet the sea washed and then pulled away, eroding and shifting the sand beneath his soles and toes in its retreat. In that moment of looking down to observe the foam-flecked water, he caught that he was naked. The wind pulled between the gaps of his thin thighs and tickled his groin.
Curious. He didn’t recognize his body. It wasn’t that it didn’t appear to be his body, but more that he couldn’t be certain if he knew it as his own or not. These might have been his arms. The hands that cupped his crotch might have been familiar. Perhaps. And yet this skin, these cold toes and sore gums might have been a stranger’s. All he felt with a certainty was that in this place, in this moment, it was the shell of flesh his mind inhabited. This was his place for now.
He looked back up the beach then, to confirm he was indeed alone, only to find he was not. Far off in the distance--far enough that they were hardly more than amorphous silhouettes--a handful of mysterious figures stood atop a dune. He could not discern if they faced him, but the man’s nakedness made him nervously suspect they did. But more than that was the accompanying dread that crept into him even as the next wave took hold of his feet, eroded his footing. Somehow he was aware of their intentions; these strangers meant him harm. They meant to make death.