The client was waiting for SMS on a narrow stretch of rocky beach that ran alongside Dallas Road. Other areas of the winding beachside street were popular tourist destinations, with trails and cliffs and beautiful ocean views, but for this meeting the client had chosen a segment of the beach that was less busy, better to hold a private conversation of this nature.
Like a good animal rights hippie, the man was dressed entirely in synthetic fabrics and was munching on a carrot stick. As SMS crossed the sand and logs that separated them, he saw a seagull swoop down and perch on a rock fifteen feet away from the man, eyeing the carrot sticks. The man watched it like a cornered dog. For someone who apparently cared so much about wildlife, he didn’t appear to have an especially close connection with it.
The client was still staring nervously at the seagull when SMS said, “Hello.”
The man jumped. “Oh!”