When Chris came round, the first sensations that he felt were a damp coolness across his broad, shoulder muscles, and a violent heat across his chest and abdomen. He then came to realize that sunlight was burning red through the lids of his closed eyes, and he could hear the lapping of waves from somewhere close by. It all felt very tranquil, very womblike. But then the thought crossed his mind that he should not be sensing any of this: he should be under cool, airless aircon, hearing nothing but the reassuring, uninterrupted hum of engines and the occasional gentle beep of the fasten seatbelt sign. Something was wrong. That word clocked in his head like a coin in a slot that causes a machine to spring into automation: he opened his eye and sprung into an upright position, and was shocked just as much by the sight before him as he was by the pain that shot down his spine.
Before him, was two or three metres of white grey sandy beach, and beyond that nothing but a vast expanse of ocean that went from turquoise to chrome grey right out to the horizon. What. The. Fuck. Each word appeared in his mind, bold and underlined, just like that.
“So you’re up then?” A voice croaked, wryly amused, just to his left.