Millions of years ago there had been an abundance of minerals under Kak’s feet mixed with and obscuring the quartz. The entire beach had been brown, even this high. Wind and wave patiently assaulted it, pulverized it, broke it down in an eternal war. But the quartz was so resistant to the bombardment of the elements that long after the other minerals were ground to dust, quartz remained, the only thing left. She’d seen it once, under magnification in middle school. When viewed at even 100 times normal the grains of quartz sand became translucent gems that caught and returned the light.
You should have been quartz, she told herself. You should have been what was left when all else was destroyed.
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