Among The Woman in the Dunes
As she spoke the expanse of stars rapidly grew patchy and began to fade.
A tangled filmy cloud swirled around fitfully where the wall of sand met the sky.
"You see, it's because the sand soaks up a lot of fog. When salty sand is full of fog, it gets hard like starch."
"I can't believe it!"
"Oh, yes, it's true. When the tide along the beach goes down, even big tanks can drive over the sand with no trouble."
"It's quite true. So that part that sticks out there gets bigger every night. On days when the wind comes from a bad direction, the sand comes down like today, on the umbrella. In the afternoon, when it's good and dry, it comes crashing down all at once. And it's the end if it falls in the wrong place... where the pillars are weak."
Her topics of conversation were restricted. Yet once she entered her sphere she suddenly took on a new animation. This might also be the way to her heart. He was not particularly interested in what she had to say, but her words had a warmth in them that made him think of the body concealed beneath the coarse work trousers.
Then, with all his strength, he repeatedly thrust the dented cutting edge of his shovel into the sand at his feet.