For a moment she almost can hear the waves, crashing against rocks and sand in a ritual that has carried forth since the dawn of time. But out of the corner of her eye something else calls her attention, and she turns back. On the far horizon a single white cloud forms the backdrop to an ancient castle sitting atop an emerald green knoll. Each of its many towers boasts a flag, their colors brilliant, their emblems mysterious and yet inviting. The drawbridge is down, cutting a thick gray line across the inky black moat.
She again catches her breath. From deep inside a feeling, a familiar one at that, churns, and she knows something is about to happen. The trees behind her, the sky above, even the wind, settle in the silence of anticipation.
Then, the gate, a set of iron bars with sharp arrow tips at the top, begins to rise, the creak of its chains echoing across the canyon. A rider—a knight, his polished armor aglow in the midday sun--emerges, his horse a glossy back, its mane long and wild. The breath she held she finally releases in a gasp, as the horse and rider make their way across the bridge, a slow clump-clump of the horse’s hooves against the wood.
Yet, even with such a magnificent sight, another sound, this one far off in the distance, latches onto her ear. She turns, thinking at first it might be the long-horns of the neighboring kingdom, trumpeting in announcement of an approaching parade of horses ridden by knights in gray. She closes her eyes, imagining their gloved hands, how they hold their lances high, for their intent is to challenge the knight.
But, no, the sound is more distinct. A repetitive beeping. Persistent. Annoying. Her shoulders slump, her head drops, for it is only then she realizes her phone, set to go off at the end of her lunch, is performing its task.
With a heavy sigh, she marks her page, folds the book closed, and makes her way back to her desk.