Lisa and Marie were on their way home from an extraordinary road trip. They had reached their furthest destination, San Francisco, and were now headed south on Highway 1 along the Pacific coast. Both girls were exhausted and diverted from the highway through the rolling hills towards a beach that Marie’s sister had suggested they visit near San Luis Obispo.
It was still dark outside and wondering if they had made a wrong turn, arrived at a well lit parking lot. The bluffs surrounded the entire parking lot to the north and the west, with the ocean bordering the south, and the east entrance as the only exit. While entering the parking lot, the girls noticed that there were no other vehicles in sight. This didn’t seem to be a problem considering the haste they were in to get some rest. Marie quickly picked a parking space close to the center of the parking lot and within minutes, they were both fast asleep.
Sometime, during the early morning, Lisa awoke to the sound of a white van parking in the space next to their car. She opened her eyes and observed a couple getting out of the van. To her surprise, the parking lot was now full of vehicles. She figured that everyone had come to take advantage of their Saturday morning by spending it at the beach. Her eyes grew heavy once again with the rhythmic sound of the tide, and watching the children playing nearby she quickly drifted back to sleep.
Marie was also soothed by the tide. The sound of the waves rolling drew her to the shore and she waded into jets of foam. The streams of laughter from the children became distant as she floated further with the current. The ambience was inviting and Marie felt the warmth of the sun on her face. Slowly, she drifted out into the sea. The people on the sand became distant figures and the rays from the sun were prisms of color which intertwined with the figures until there was no longer a distinction between the two. As the prisms continued to change, a feeling began to draw over Marie and caused her to drift back to the shore. As she opened her eyes, the light began to focus.
Being shaken by Marie, Lisa awoke once again. “Wake up! We got to get the hell out of here!” The fear could be heard in her voice as she continued. “Hey! What? What’s going on?”, said Lisa. Marie struggled with trembling hands to start the car and put it in reverse. Lisa looked out through the window. The parking lot and the beach were completely empty.