The sun beat down on the spray- drenched rocks and gulls wheeled overhead, calling incessantly. The breakers came crashing in and around her, and continued towards shore, foaming and eddying around her little refuge. Sometimes a great slap of spray would drench her and set her teeth to chattering, but it was exhilarating at the same time. She pulled herself up onto the rock, trying to avoid slick patches and make herself more comfortable. As she gained the summit of the rock she found a relatively flat spot where she could stretch out a bit and begin to dry off.
Looking back towards shore she was surprised how far she had come. She was at once pleased with herself and a little concerned, for she was farther out than she had anticipated. The wind was cold and wet and she felt very alone, but her sense of accomplishment crowded out her fears and she resolved to savor the moment and bask in her new- found freedom as long as she could. Around her were other rocks jutting out of the sea. Most were not as large as this one, and some close in to shore were barely large enough for someone to stand on. Farther out to sea she thought she could see more rocks, or perhaps islands, though it was hard to tell. They must have been quite a ways out. She wondered briefly what was on those islands, if anything.
Away to the south she could see the outlines of a shipwreck, part of a hull and several masts protruding from the water. The merfolk were known to cavort in the ruins of the ship, so most sensible people steered clear of it. Sometimes strange flickering lights were seen in and around the wreck at night, or so people said. She had never seen them herself. Beyond the shipwreck in the distance were the great rocks, rising from the surf like primordial giants and large enough to have trees and vegetation. Some of these were quite high, and the Sea People would sometimes row out to them and climb the paths to the top where they could see for great distances.
After a time she must have drowsed, for she woke with a start to see the sun hanging lower in the sky. Time to be heading back. Her clothes were nearly dry and she did not relish the idea of going back into the water, but there was no help for it. She sighed wistfully and looked around her once more, gazing out to sea at the horizon and then back towards shore. It was not as sunny as it had been, clouds were rolling in and the air was feeling cooler. She had best get moving.
As she swam for shore she let the incoming waves carry her along, laughing as the swells lifted her and seemed to throw her forward. When she could touch she strode out of the surf, wringing her tunic in both hands to get some of the water out. The swim back to shore had taken a lot less time than the swim out to the rock, she reflected. It was just as well. Glancing at the sky she was not sure she wanted to remain out of doors too much longer.