Moments flicker in the sun,
at times not seen,
as we run,
Stay and linger for a while,
bask in warm light,
and in style,
Maybe see me on the beach,
breathing salt air,
for you who sees beauty’s dawn,
and sings to me,
Sweetest scented breezes fill
me as you sing
of love’s thrill.
Stella gave the man a blank stare and blinked three times. If she didn’t know any better, she could have sworn she heard him say the gemstone hanging from the keychain is his home. Rather than give him a response, she backed away several steps, turned on her heal, and ran down the beach in the opposite direction. After a good five minutes, her lungs hurt, so she stopped and bent over. Her heart hammered as her adrenaline continued to fuel the rush of blood through here system.
She stood up and intertwined her finger behind her head, hoping that would calm her breathing. Aloud to no one she said, “Damn, I really need to work out more.”
“Yes, you do,” said the man.
Stella gasped and turned to see the same man from before. “How? How did you…? But I…”
“You what? Thought you left me up the beach? Not likely. As I said before, that gemstone you are carrying is my home. You can think of me as a genie in a bottle but not really. I don’t grant wishes.”
“How were you able to follow me?” asked Stella. She didn’t care about the gibberish he was spewing at the moment. She wanted to be rid of him. A breeze picked up momentum and flung her long brown hair across her face. She swiped at it, hitting her nose in the process, which fed her irritation even more so.
“It isn’t important how I followed you.” He paused, then turned and took a couple steps. Shaking a finger at her he said, “You aren’t nice. You should be nice to people.”
“I am nice. You’re frightening me is all. How do you expect one to behave, when you behave as you are right now? Maybe I wouldn’t be as scared if you’d tell me a little about what’s going on. How were you able to follow me so quickly?”
The man nodded and licked his lips. “Ok. That’s fair. As I said before, that gemstone you are holding is my home. I live in it, or let me put it another way. I am cursed to it. I can’t be more than ten feet from it. So, when it moves, I move whether I want to or not. I go with it.”
“How did you get outside of it?” asked Stella.
“When you changed that starfish into a seashell, I was extricated from it. So, thank you. It’s been quite a while since I breathed fresh air. And the more you use the gemstone, the longer I get to stay outside of it.”
“Use it? You mean change things?”
“Yes, among other things,” said the man.
Stella was going to ask him to go into detail but thought better of it. An idea began to form. The corners of her lips turned up as a devious plan took shape. “Change? You say?”
“Yes. Wait.” Now it was the man’s turn to smile. He rubbed his hands together as he said, “What do you have in mind?”
(To Be Continued)
Hanging from the keyring encompassing her toe was a precious gemstone. The odd thing about it wasn’t that it was hanging from her toe or that she found a precious gemstone on the beach. Stuff like that was found on the beach more often than one would think. The weird characteristic presenting itself as Stella removed the keychain from around her toe was the continuous change the gemstone appeared to be displaying. Not only that, but the shape of it also changed. Each time it changed a sparkling glint emitted from it.
She reached a finger up and glided it across the surface of the gemstone. At the moment it was in the form of a royal blue pyramid. She brought her finger up for another pass along its surface when a feint blue beam of light surged from one of its points and hit a starfish wriggling in place on the wet sand. A second later the starfish morphed into a seashell of approximately the size of a quarter. Stella reached down, retrieved the seashell, and turned it over in her fingers. The inside displayed various hues of blue. The outside was pure white.
The gemstone changed shape and colors a moment later. This time it took on the shape of an oval with faceted edges, and the color was light pink. Stella dangled the now pink gemstone above the seashell in her hand.
“Hmm. I wonder what it will do now,” stated Stella.
“Must you stand there?” said a male voice behind her.
She turned to see a middle aged man with a tiny goatee and a light mustache about a head taller than herself. “What?” asked Stella.
“Are you deaf? I asked must you stand there?” asked the man.
“Why? Am I in your light or something? All you have to say is, ‘excuse me, could you please move aside?'” She turned and continued her walk down the beach. The key chain dangled from her right forefinger and the seashell sat in the palm of her left hand. She had only taken about ten steps, when the feeling of a presence from behind her caused her to stop an look over her shoulder. The man stood a few paces to her rear. She spun around. “Why are you following me?”
“I’m not following you, miss. I’m following that keychain dangling from your finger. I cannot be more than ten paces from it.”
She eyed the man standing before her from head to toe. There didn’t appear to be anything odd about him. Something in his eyes drew her nearer to him. “What is your name, sir?”
“What is yours?”
“I asked you first.”
“I asked you second,” said the man.
“Look, I’m not playing that game. Just tell me your name.” His eyes went to the keychain in her hand. “This is mine. I found it. You know the rule of any beach as it relates to finding something,” said Stella.
“What rule is that?”
“Not if it belongs to someone else, and they had lost it. You do the good deed, and give it back to them.”
“How do I know this belongs to you?” asked Stella.
The man took two steps forward. “That gemstone is my home.”
(To Be Continued)