A Walk on the Beach


On an early morning a man walks alone on a sheltered bay. The waves gently lap behind him as GEORGE (64, protruding belly, bald) slowly walks over the sand. In his hands is a metal detector, he sways it gently back on forth in front of him.

George’s thongs suck and flop with every small step and the metal detector makes a soft beep every few seconds.

George looks out at the still ocean as he walks, barely paying attention to the metal detector. Behind his stretch his solo footprints.

George looks up as a seagull passes over head, barely flapping its wings as it rides the thermals.

George takes a long, deep, breath, breathing it all in.

The metal detector beeps rapidly for a moment then stops when George’s swaying moves it away. George brings it back to the same spot and once again it starts to beep rapidly.

George places the metal detector to his side and slowly eases himself down onto the sand. He pulls a small spade from his belt and starts to dig.

He digs carefully, small spadefuls of sand that he flicks over his shoulder. After four such digs he hits something with a tiny ting.

George places the spade to his side and probes carefully into the sand with his fingers. He feels around for a moment, feels something, brings his fingers together and pulls it from the ground.

It’s a small key.

George cleans the sand off of the key, then stands, slowly plods over to the water and gives it a proper clean.

He holds it up to his eyes. The key, now cleaned, is quite ornate with swirls of engraving covering it and a small gem at the top.

George studies it for a moment then bounces it in his hand a few times before placing it in his pocket.

He walks back over to the dig site, picks up his spade and metal detector and pats the sand flat again.

George continues to walk along the beach, once more swaying his metal detector in front of him.

After a few steps his metal detector beeps again.

George repeats his actions from before and slowly lowers himself down to once more dig in the sand. His spade hits something on the first dig, this time with a thud.

George feels in the sand with his hand. Both hands go into the sand as he tracks along the objects shape. His hands separate to two ends, grab and then pull the heavy object out of the sand. With a grunt George frees it from the sand.

As the sand falls away from the object it’s revealed that it a small wooden chest with gold lining on the outsides.

George stands to lift the small chest, but only lifts it a few centimeters off the ground before it thuds back down. It’s too heavy for him.

He looks over to the water and then totters over.

At the shore he takes the hat from his head and ducks it into the water. He walks back to the chest, tips water over it, squeezes as much of it from his hat as he can and then replaces it on his head.

There are still some remaining spots of sand but the chest is now mostly revealed. The gold lining share the same engraving as the key and on top of the chest is a gold plague. It’s clean and smooth and has a large ornate ‘P’ in the centre of it.

George kneels down again and brushes some sand away from the from the front of the chest to reveal a small keyhole. He studies it for a moment, running his finger over the key hole, then excitedly pulls the key from his pocket.

George looks at the key to the keyhole. He bends down further and blows the remaining sand out of the keyhole.

He considers the key again then slowly places it into the keyhole and turns it with a click.

The chest open to reveal a blinding and all encompassing purple light. George turns his head and blocks his eyes from the light. He is soon lost in it.

The chest’s lid falls and closes with a click. George has disappeared.

The key drops to the sand and then sinks beneath it. The chest also sinks down into the sand as though it is being pulled slowly from beneath. It is soon lost from view and the sand settles, leaving only George’s spade and metal detector lying on the open beach.

The seagull flies back over the sheltered, now empty beach. The wind whistles and the waves lap.

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