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View Full Version : Sarah and the thing 2,000 She found it on thr beach.



hvysmker
March 8th, 2020, 03:41 PM
This story is loosely based on the old song named "The Thing." I remember it was sung by a popular entertainer, at that time, named "Arthur Godfrey." Nuff said.




***

It was her college vacation and Sarah was visiting Honolulu. The young woman had always wanted to go to Hawaii and had talked her father into paying for the trip as her birthday present. Unfortunately the rest of her family couldn’t go. Better than nothing, she thought, and she did want to prove her independence. After all, she was all of eighteen-years-old.

The hotel on Waikiki beach was plush and comfortable. Sarah had three weeks but, near the end of the first, she was already bored. The hotel happened to be filled with mostly old people and families with young kids. She had expected at least a few people her own age. You could only wander along the beach for so long alone before you became numb.

On top of that, it had rained every day so far -- that being the rainy season for the islands and probably the reason her father caught such a good deal on the price.

There she was, well into her dream vacation, reduced to sitting on a lanai while watching the rain pour down. It was depressing. Some vacation. She was picturing schoolmates living it up in Acapulco.

“Well, I guess I better see about lunch. At least I won’t get wet doing that.” She looked at her watch briefly. “Damn, and this is the rush hour in the cafeteria,” she muttered to the silent room.




***


Like she had thought, the place was packed, with most of the tables and booths either filled with howling kids or almost filled with old farts. There was one table that only had one old man who looked to be almost finished. He was eating dessert. Sarah considered going back to her room to wait but, what the hell, she went to that one table -- which changed her young life.

She sat down to wait for a waitress.




The old man glanced up from the scattered remains of a spaghetti meal.




Oh, no, she thought, Sarah hated spaghetti and meatballs. Her aunt served it every time she visited, and it was probably the meal she would get -- included in the travel package. Maybe she should pay for hamburgers and fries, but she only had a limited amount of cash to last her another week. Well, she decided to let it go. The day was turning out as lousy as she'd anticipated.

Sure enough, she was served spaghetti. On top of it all, the old man was attempting to talk to her. She had judged him about finished. He was, with his meal. But he ordered a large pot of coffee and wanted to talk. The last thing she felt like was talk and advice from some old fart.


“How do you like the place? I come here every year.” The man smiled.

“Okay, I guess. Just not very exciting is all.”

“Oh, I would think a pretty girl like you would find plenty to do?”

“Hah! The only good-looking boys I’ve seen here want me to pay for their time.”




She fiddled around with her fork, surprised she had even answered him. Probably just don’t want to face eating this crap, she decided.

“What about the hotel hula show, you didn’t like that?”

“It was alright, but I could have seen it on television at home.”




For some reason, maybe the way he smiled, she was finding the man easy to talk to. It might be because of spending all that time alone in her room in the rain.

“This was supposed to be my dream trip. Last week was my eighteenth birthday.” She was surprised that she said that to a stranger.

“And now that you’re a grown woman you wanted adventure and romance. I’ll bet that’s the problem, uh?” His smiling eyes turned to a sad, sympathetic, look.

“I did expect something, not just stupid rain and wet sand,” Sarah admitted. With her depression fading, the spaghetti looked a little better. Talking did help a little.

“Well, happy birthday. I have to go, but I’ll leave you a birthday present. All you have to do is go to the beach after lunch. Look around and you'll find it. See, the rain even stopped?” And it had.

“How’ll I recognize it?” She looked back up from her meal, but he was already gone. That was quick, she thought, looking around. He was indeed gone, chair and coffee also missing. With at least a little something to look forward to for a change, she ate her meal.

***

Sarah walked over the drying sand. The sun had decided to come out for a few minutes, shining brightly, and she was trying to find the old man. No old man, but she did see a wooden crate near the edge of the water.




Curious, she walked over and, seeing the lid askew, looked inside and saw it. With the lid off, she could see it clearly. It was beautiful with the sun shining on it. Picking it up, she looked around.

Nobody was watching or seemed to be anywhere around her. It must have washed up during the rain and didn’t belong to anyone, she thought.

Sarah had never found anything so nice in her entire life, especially nothing like that. She picked it up and held it in her arms. It was cool to the touch and looked expensive. The girl wondered who had lost it -- thinking they must be sad to lose such a thing.

It was lighter than she thought and easy to carry. Sarah decided to keep it -- who wouldn’t? It wasn’t stealing, she figured. Sort of finders-keepers.

She stopped at a soda stand on her way back to the hotel.

“Gimme a large coke,” Sarah told the clerk. He filled a foam cup and, while turning to give it to her, saw her burden.

“Hey! You get that thing out of here.” His eyes bugged out. “We don’t allow those things around here." He hastily shoved the cup across the counter. "Just go, before someone sees it.” Pulling a cord caused a wooden shutter to drop down, hiding him from view.

It would have hit Sarah on the head if she hadn’t stepped back quickly. She could only stare confusedly at a blank wooden surface.

What’s going on here? She looked down at her find, wondering what was wrong. It shone innocently in the afternoon sun.

Sarah carried it to picnic table. An older couple were sitting at one edge, watching their kids play. Sarah sat on the bench at the other end of the table. Putting her things down, she paused to consider the crazy clerk. The girl saw the shutter was raised again. While she was looking back at the clerk, she heard a muttering near her.

It was the playing children, who were standing next to her -- staring at the thing and muttering to each other, as though they were frightened or something. The parents looked over and saw them, and it.

“Well!” They rose and came over to chase their children away. “You have your nerve bringing that thing around here,” the mother exclaimed. They hustled their kids away while glaring back at Sarah.

The teenager watched them hurry away, and then looked back down at the table. Her lovely find seemed to look back at her. What the hell is going on, she wondered, picking it up again and turning it around. It felt good to her touch. She was sure she hadn’t seen any of those things around before, but what was wrong with it? It didn’t stink or have dirty words written on it. All it did was sit there, looking pretty.



The girl had to smile, though. It did make her feel more than a little adventurous and special to have people afraid of her.

“Boo.” Sarah made a face at the retreating tourists, smiling at her nerve.

For the rest of the afternoon, Sarah, having fun for the first time since her arrival, terrorized the beach. She didn’t know why, never bothered to analyze her change in temperament. It just felt so good to be free to enjoy herself for a change.

She would hide it in a plastic sack and merge with groups of other tourists. Then bring it out and laugh as she watched them run and dodge away.




At one point, a policeman came over to her. He was a native Hawaiian. “Uh, young lady. You know you shouldn’t have them around here? Uh, well, it’s just something we don’t like the tourists to see, a kinda Hawaiian thing.”

“Yes, but what is it? It’s so pretty and everything, not scary at all,” she pleaded.

“I really can’t tell you. Just something we Hawaiians know about, and not for the tourists to see. I can’t arrest you for having one, but it would be much better if you didn’t ever show it to other non-natives.




"You must be very special to appreciate it. You see, we Hawaiians have a few secrets from the visitors.” He smiled at her, looking her thing over. “Very special,” he said and left without arresting Sarah or anything.

The sun was going down as Sarah headed back to her hotel. Word had gotten around by then, and she was surprised to see her bags packed and standing on her room’s outside lanai, a note attached. It read:

“Sarah Jackson, we don’t want your kind in our hotel. You will not be billed for your stay, but we would appreciate your never setting foot on our property again.”

Sarah looked around, sat in a chair for a few minutes, and then picked up her bags. She guessed she have to spend the night on the beach and look for somewhere else to stay in the morning. But, what if the word had spread to other hotels? Suddenly, her find wasn't as innocent as she'd thought.

She laid some of her clothing under a picnic table to sleep out of any rain, used her suitcase for a pillow, and prepared to spend the night. Now that her high was gone, depression returned.




Thinking the thing would ward off any assailants, she placed it near her head and tried to sleep. The sight of it shining in the moonlight gave her confidence and she soon drifted off to slumber.

“Hey girl, you found it!” a voice woke her.




Looking up, through the boards of the bench seat, Sarah saw a Hawaiian teenager. He was very handsome with a large grin on his face, wide shoulders filling her vision. She jerked up, hitting her head on the bottom of the wooden surface.


“I’ve been looking for it all day,” he told her, happily, helping her out from under the table.




Her heart beating wildly at his touch, they sat together, basking in the moonlight.




“The box fell out of my canoe this morning and I thought I had lost it.”




The sight of him made her heart beat out of control, even faster by placing his hand on hers as she stared into dark fathomless eyes.

“It’s been in my family for hundreds of years. My father would have killed me if I lost it.” His eyes drew hers in. “I was afraid a tourist would find it and throw it away or even bury it. They can’t stand the sight of the things, you know?”




Sarah could only nod, lost in his gaze.

“What are you doing sleeping under this table?” he asked.

Sarah told him about her day, making him laugh.

“Hey, girl. Don’t worry. You can spend the rest of your vacation with my family. We have our own little island,” he offered.




Which she did. Sarah finally enjoyed her dream vacation.




The End.

Hvysmker – Charlie