The girl smiled too, nuzzling her nose against the stranger's cheek. "Most definitely. Maybe it's the slight hint of sweat when you're close like this."
"I think it's got something to do with body temperature. The nature of passion is heat, isn't that right?" He took her face into his hands, stared into her eyes, kissed her again.
"Heat. Passion. Oh yes, most definitely yes!" Behind them the ocean roared. The setting could not have been more perfect.
An awkward pause followed, a wonderful yet torturous moment of anticipation. They stood in the sand holding one another, saying nothing. Then she looked into the stranger's eyes.
"I don't even know your name."
"I don't know yours either. Funny, I never thought to ask."
She laughed. "Well, it's . . . it's . . ."
She pulled herself from him.
"Is something wrong?"
The girl scratched her head, managed an abbreviated laugh.
"This is insane. I can't seem to remember my name."
"That's ridiculous. Of course you—"
The young man stopped smiling. His mouth twitched.
The girl stared at him hard. "You don't know your name either, do you?"
They turned their attention to the beach scene surrounding them. Although the weather was perfect, the crowd seemed strangely quiet. No one tossed a Frisbee, no kids were playing in the surf. In fact, the people nearby hardly seemed to move at all.
"Where are we?" she asked.
He took her hand, held it tight. "This sand . . . It doesn't feel like . . . sand."
She dug her toe in. Her mouth hung open.
Ken Goldman has published stories in over 500 publications, including his widely praised collection You Had Me At ARRGH!!. New stories by Goldman will soon appear in Dead Souls (Morrigan Books / Gilgamesh Press), Time in a Bottle (Cyberwizard Productions), Assassin's Creed (Utility Fog Press), Ethereal Gazette 9 (Lake Fossil Press), and The Devil's Food (The Monsters Next Door). Australia's Precision Pictures has purchased the film rights to his short story "The Keeper."
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