One morning, at dawn, a woman is walking by the sea when a tidal wave suddenly appears on the horizon, approaching the shore at tremendous speed. In fear for her life, the woman races back into the town, up a hill, through a wood and takes refuge in a hotel. Initially, 'Cara', as we come to know her, is relieved to be safe inside its protective walls, but being unable to ascertain from the staff what has happened down in the town, or even to go outside again herself, she quickly finds her memories beginning to seem unreal, and that her need to know is much less pressing. In the dark corridors of this hotel, with only formal, de-personalised waiters, strange books, and confusing shadowy dreams, for company, Cara feels both oppressed and 'at home'. However, when three other guests arrive, her interest in the outside world is suddenly revived and she is encouraged to contemplate the possibility of leaving the hotel with them, on their departure.