First he thought it was a tidal wave. Then he saw that the sky and ocean were visible through it and it was a curtain of spray rushing at the boat.
He’d been sunbathing on top of the cabin. It was just coincidence that he pushed up on his elbow and saw it coming.
“Marty!” he yelled. There was no answer. He scuttled across the hot wood and slid down the deck. “Hey, Marty!”
The spray didn’t look menacing, but for some reason he wanted to avoid it. he ran around the cabin, wincing at the hot planks underfoot. It would be a race.
Which he lost. One moment he was in sunlight. The next he was being soaked by the warm, glittering spray.
Then it was past. He stood there watching it sweep across the water, sun-glowing drops of it covering him. Suddenly he twitched and looked down. There was a curious tingling on his skin.
He grabbed for a towel and dried himself. It wasn’t so much pain as a pleasant stinging, like that of lotion on newly shaven cheeks.
Then he was dry and the feeling was almost gone. He went below and woke up his brother and told him about the curtain of spray that had run across the boat.
It was the beginning.
Copyright © 1994 by Richard Matheson