It Was Warm and Cold and Round and Square

I found a mystery on the beach today, half-buried in the sand. There were plenty of people around. Sunbathing, building sand-castles, running in and out of the sea. When they ran in, they were usually dry. When they ran back out, they were always wet. The water was cold that day. No one stayed in for very long. I didn’t wear my bathing suit. I was just in shorts and a t-shirt with the name of the company I work for inscribed on it. They give me free things like that sometimes. Once I got a big duffle bag. I use it to carry my laundry down. Some people say that’s free advertising. I say it’s a free bag.

I stepped right on the mystery at first. I was barefoot. My shoes were with the blanket I’d spread out on the sand. I didn’t want to take my shoes off at first. But the blanket kept flapping up in the wind and I needed something to weight it down with. So I took my shoes off. They were the kind you can wear without socks. So I was both shoeless and sockless. Completely barefooted. Once, feet were considered erotic. I guess they still are for some people, if you can believe what you read in the tabloids.

My foot still has a mark on it. The mystery was sharp. I jumped away from it and yelled a little yell. It hurt. Nobody was watching, though. Everyone was too involved in what a nice day it was. That’s probably why no one found the mystery before I did. Even though my foot was stinging, I got down on my knees to look closer at the thing that hurt me.

It was round and square and triangular. I pulled it out of the sand. It was pretty small. It was heavy and light. It was clear and opaque. It sang a little tune when I shook it. It rattled. It was the most ordinary and mysterious thing I’d ever seen. I guess that’s why they call it a mystery.

I took it home. I wrapped it in the blanket first. My neighbors would never let it stay on this street if they saw it. We’re a no-pets zone. Nobody wants dog poop on their lawn. I don’t have a lawn. I have a rock garden. It’s very relaxing. I use a rake and make shapes in the sand. Then I walk on all the zigzags and see my shoe-prints. I wear different shoes every day so that I won’t get bored. I have almost thirty pairs. That’s just enough.


2 thoughts on “It Was Warm and Cold and Round and Square

  1. I have questions:

    First, you’re trying to confuse me, aren’t you? Clear AND opaque?

    I suppose you can look into the sky on a “clear day,” but you can’t “see through” it into space, making IT clear and opaque too, eh?

    Also, do you literally mean it when you say it’s “dog poop,” or are you saying that your neighbours just don’t want “random shit” on tossed about?

    What else…oh! Does the character in the story wear his or her shoes on every day of the month? Or do they go barefoot on the odd day off from work? ‘Cause 30 pairs would get you through the Februarys and Aprils and stuff, but what about the months with 31 days?

    I needs to know!

    Did you put as much thought into your story as I have?

    I realize I’m being obnoxious, but you’ve got to appreciate a careful reader of your stuff on some level, right?

    Heh heh.

    I want a free duffel bag, by the way.

  2. mikamanning says:

    Casually reading this on a Friday morning before school, I am in love. The play with opposites trying to describe a thing but not clearly (but opaquely) describing it. I love it.

    “Some people say that’s free advertising. I say it’s a free bag.”
    I like your way of thinking.

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