A thick veil of smoke covers the room. As he takes another long drag of
his last cigarette, he continues to anxiously scan the newspaper.
Dropping the cigarette butt into the ash tray, he nervously scratches
his head. The silence is suddenly cut as his telephone begins ringing.
As he lets it go to the answering machine, a worried voice comes on the
machine. The man quickly hits erase. He chokes down the remainder of
his glass of whiskey, and then with a heavy sigh, sets down the paper,
closes his eyes and drifts away. He wakes up; breathing in the Florida
breeze he walks off the patio on to the beach. He walks into the ocean and
feels the cold water on his feet. The man is wearing his favorite hat,
flowered cover flannel, and tan slacks. He is staring at the waves
breaking and the boats far out at sea. Out of the corner of his eye he
notices two little girls and their mother playing by the water. The mother,
young, beautiful and happy, is wearing a long white t-shirt that goes down
to her thighs. The kids, fearful of the large waves, are running out of
the ocean calling for her. As they cry out “Mommy!” she comes running
after them. The man watches them start to make sand castles, he is
stricken with affection for this picture perfect little family. Their
laughing, kissing and hugging forces him to crack an envious smile. The
man sits down and lights another cigarette and starts running his hand
through the golden colored sand.
One of the little girls walks over to him, asking him to play with
them, he can do nothing but notice how big and beautiful her blue eyes
are. “Of course sweetie,” he says, as he puts out his cigarette and holds
her hand as they walk towards her family. The man asks the girls if
they would like to go to the board walk for some Ice cream and rides.
The little girls’ eyes open wide with excitement. They go on
the merry-go-round; the mom buys the girls some cotton candy. The man
wins 3 stuffed animals in Whack-a-mole, and gives them to the mother and
little daughters. They stop at local food vender and the man buys them
each a hotdog, as they sit and get to know each other better. The man
cannot help but laugh as he wipes the ketchup and mustard off the little
girl cheeks. As the sun begins to go down, the man saddens at the
thought of this wonderful day coming to an end. But “it’s time to go.”
the mother says to her children, and so the family says their goodbyes.
The two little girls run and give the man a hug, and the mother waves and
whispers “thanks.” The man tries to say goodbye, but finds that he
cannot. All he can hear is a sudden ringing. It’s getting louder and
louder, nearly unbearable. Feeling as though his head will split open,
the man runs off the board walk, onto the beach and into the ocean. He dives
into the waves, but the ringing persists. All he can do is close his
eyes and let out a gurgled scream under the ocean water, he blacks out.
The man awakens with a shudder, dripping sweat. Looking down at the
crumpled newspaper on his lap, he reads the headlines once more “Mother
and Two daughters killed in hit and run accident, Driver still on the
All rights belong to its author. It was published on e-Stories.org by demand of Nick Grinups.
Published on e-Stories.org on 08/12/2011.