Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Children's Magazines Are Full Of Lies (250=1)

Children's Magazines Are Full Of Lies.

For the 74th time, on his 37th beach vacation, Kincaid walked the shore just after the tide went out. Alone on the beach, sand sifting into his sandals wetly, he shuffled along knowing he would not find what he was looking for.

Somewhere, in the past, which in his thoughts was a country he’d never visit no matter how many travelogues of it he watched, a little boy lay on the floor, a magazine spread out before him showing a glossy photo of a sea urchin and a crab in a tiny pool of water, trapped in the rocks after the tide went out. It was a private ocean, and Kincaid, like that little boy from the other country would, eventually, too, had spent his life looking for one.

Later today, he’d take Olivia to ride on roller-coasters. They would stop for pizza at that restaurant. But for now, Kincaid simply walked by himself, the taste of corn flakes on his breath. When he saw rocky outcroppings he climbed on them, carefully, watching where he put his hands and his feet, each time to no avail.

“Why do you get up so early?” Claudia asked him once on vacation. He’d shrugged. “I like to not waste time on vacation,” he’d said.

“Next year, maybe, we’ll go to the mountains,” Kincaid told the surf. But he knew it wasn’t true. There are 217,490 miles of coastline in the world, and he was not getting younger.

Some of you may have seen this story before; it's a reprint that originally appeared on my blog Thinking The Lions.  In 250=1, I write stories that are exactly 250 words long, including the title.  Here's a link to more of them, if you liked this one.

1 comment:

Liz A. said...

Perhaps he needs to plan out his vacations better. With a little research, he might be able to figure out where to find a sea urchin.