Writing Prompt: Waves lapped gently against the sugar white sand.

Good morning. It is cold and frosty out, but because the weather is stabilized, my sinuses actually feel a bit better. That’s right, no pressure headache making my brain feel like it is trapped in a barometer. Awesome! So let’s take the awesomeness and channel it into a morning writing prompt. Are you ready? Fabulous, let’s go.

There is something about starting a story with a character who has reached the end of their tether that I really just like. I think it is that moment of choice. To you risk starting something new or stay in the horrid but stable place where you are. It is a fascinating mental squeeze. I like it.

Tuesday, January 24th: Waves lapped gently against the sugar white sand.

Waves lapped gently against the sugar white sand.  It was paradise.  I stretched back on the towel.  There were no cell phones ringing, no e-mails that needed to be answered.  No meetings to attend and no one clamoring for my attention.

It was bliss.

I lay back and closed my eyes.  The wind was gentle, providing just enough air movement for the warm sun not to be stultifying. The sun was overhead and I could see it as a red/yellow dot on the inside of my eyelids.  Any exposed skin was slathered in the strongest SPF I could find.  It was newly applied so I didn’t have the fear of it wearing off and letting my skin burn, at least not yet. 

The warnings of sun damage to the skin whispered away in the back of my mind but for the moment it was easy enough to ignore them.  How long had it been since I had even seen the sun?  I couldn’t remember.  It had to be a few months at least.

‘The wellness initiative,’ I thought. 

About six months prior my company embarked on a wellness initiative.  They installed a gym in the basement of the building along with all of the necessary facilities.  While everyone was encouraged to use it, for executives, at least at my level, use was considered mandatory.  While those higher up the food chain than me escaped the mandatory usage, I was one of the ones designated to set a good example for those working in my division. 

I knew someone would be checking and so I made it a morning habit.  I started packing my bathing products and makeup in a travel bag and keeping my work clothes in a garment bag, arriving bleary eyed and in work out gear every morning.  My face was bare and my hair contained in a ponytail.  Hair care products as well as a hair dryer were kept in the provided locker. 

I arrived when the world was still shadowed, got my exercise in and showered and dressed in the locker rooms. After six months of serving as an example, I was in the best shape of my life.  Showering at the office was also saving me loads on my water bill.  All in all it wasn’t a bad system.  I didn’t know how many people it inspired, but I was, as far as the higher ups were concerned, doing my part. 

The down side was that I arrived before the sun came up and spent the day in the office.  While my office technically had a window it was to my back and I could feel the warmth of the sun through the glass and track it’s movement across the sky by feel.  Unfortunately for the last year and a half the sun left the sky well before I left the office. 

Something was going to have to change and it was going to have to change soon. My company lost several people over the past year and each time they promised to hire to replace them.  Somehow no one was hired. 

‘At least not for the position,’ I reminded myself.  Other, less qualified people were hired so that the company didn’t have to pay them as much.  It did give a lot of people a foot in the door and technically saved the company money in salaries, but it added extra work to anyone in a supervisory role.  I wasn’t the only one who was missing the sun.  There was in fact a group of us who showed up for workouts in the morning because lunch time was no longer an option.  Lunch consisted of a protein shake that I brought from home.  Others ended up with sandwiches and other home bought delights.  If you didn’t bring something from home, you simply didn’t eat lunch.  There just wasn’t time for anything else.

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