Martha and Ralph held their breaths as each new wave jostled their carefully constructed bubble. They whispered futile warnings to their bored kids, struggling to subdue them. George pinching Deb. Deb kicking back. The parents praying their cocoon would stay intact.
Their old neighbors bobbed by, only to burst their own fragile membrane with their wild waving. A stealthy swell submerged them, and they resurfaced coughing up salt water, swimming blindly toward their friends.
Ralph hissed, “Let them in!” when Martha nervously shooed them away. After that, they floated through life barely speaking. Even the kids lollygagged like lumps of driftwood.