I was cold and thinking slow. I was hung over, so sue me for not paying attention right away.
It was warm and the sun had just risen. The waves were high and strong. I could see them crashing against the beach and felt the spray even near the road. I was sleeping in the tall grass so no one could roust me before dawn.
I sat up and through the ruins of my hangover, I saw it. It was everywhere. The morning sun backlit it through the waves and I saw swimmers heading right at it.
I told you I was hung over, right?
I mean I was sure I was having a full blown episode of DTs. Nobody seemed to see anything and were laughing and shouting. Except for one woman near the edge of the crowd.
She wasn’t laughing. Her voice sounded just like the seabirds. She pointed and screamed. No one seemed to see or hear her and a few seconds later when the next wave lapped the shore, she disappeared…
She disappeared, are you deaf?
The wave crashed in, something green reached up out of the wave and snatched her in so fast, if I blinked I wouldn’t have seen a thing.
But a couple of other people saw something. They started moving around, and pointing down the beach. Then a few more surfboards disappeared into the waves.
I mean the surfers got up, started riding the curl and then they were pulled into the wave, board and all. Then I saw it. It was everywhere. Green fronds up and down the wave, snatching them like I picked fruit. Daintily picking them off of the waves until they were all gone.
Then the wave crashed against the beach and all hell broke loose. The green things just kept coming like a green tide and as people got up to run, the tendrils shot out and snatched them on the run. And it didn’t just stop at the people. It took everything, their blankets, their baskets, their food, their sporting equipment.
Stop looking at me like I’m crazy.
Go down to the damn beach and tell me why there are surfboard still standing there but no surfers. Explain the damn footprints that just stop. You can take me away. Yes, I will go gladly to a asylum, hospital, or a jail cell; anywhere you want me to.
Just get me the hell away from this beach.
There was the clatter of a pair of handcuffs as they bounced on the ground.
And then they were gone. The police who walked me to their police car were snatched right out of their shoes.
Why am I still here? I have no idea. I sat down and waited for the next car to arrive. Maybe I could convince them to arrest me before they talk to me.
A tendril slithers out from beneath the sand and drags the first pair of shoes into the sea.
Kelp © Thaddeus Howze 2012, All Rights Reserved