Posted in Fiction

The Keychain (Part II)

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?”

“Finders keeper.”

“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)

Posted in Fiction

The Keychain (Part I)

Stella wriggled her toes in the soft, warm sand as she stood on the beach. The smooth roll of the waves toward the shore served to calm her nerves from an otherwise nasty, busy day at work. She inhaled the fresh salty air blowing in from the Pacific and then exhaled. At least tomorrow was another day. In her mind no two days were the same, so she never worried about encountering the same problems as the day before. And, if the same issue or issues did arise, she would handle it differently. The walks on the beach helped her to gain some perspective on the days events, so a better solution could come to light. It was a great way to relax and prepare. For the most part that strategy worked.

Being a merchandiser on a merchandising execution team at a home improvement store came with its challenges, but for the most part the job was fun. Most of her teammates were great. She was one of the guys, and they treated her with respect and she them. The challenge came with the other two females on the team. Most of the time they worked on other projects, so she never saw them. But at times, when they were around, the atmosphere could be rocky. Like today. The two of them were out of sight of Stella, but she could still hear their conversation regardless. And they knew it. Most of what they said was about her. How did she know? Her name was mentioned. They talked about how she wore her makeup and how she hung out with the guys then followed up their statements with a few choice names calling her a whore and a lost puppy dog.

Stella shook her head and let the wind blowing off the Pacific ocean blow the memory of the work day out of her head. She wasn’t any of those things. If anything she treated everyone with respect and remained nice to people. Her mother always told her one could catch more with honey than vinegar, and she was right in a way. But sometimes people were just nasty anyway. She smiled, turned to her right, and started walking down the beach.

The sun began its trek toward the horizon and cast a warm, comfortable glow on the sand making it the perfect time to look for little treasures that might be hidden beneath the sand, such as sea shells. At home she had a glassed in case of them. The ones she collected, she would take home, polish them, and put them the case.

She slid her feet forward in the sand as she continued walking. Then the odd feeling of a ring around her left big toe caught her attention. She raised her leg and grabbed her foot. “What the hell?”

(To Be Continued)