Flash Fiction for the Cocktail hour

Beach Noir: The Smartest Animal

Dolphins shear the water with their dorsal fins, skimming the surface, leaving a frothy wake. A juvenile leaps into the air with a perfect arc. An adult slaps the water with its tail, driving fish toward the others. An adult thrusts its body out and splashes down again, belly exposed. They swim in a ring, turning to head in a new direction, in love with their world and life.

Humans sit on the beach putting hands to hat brims, blocking the glare. A juvenile screams for another serving of salty, crunchy chips. An adult rips open a plastic bag and hands it to the others. An adult bends over a smart phone and fingers tap the screen. Status update: A day at the beach. I hope we see dolphins.

Beach Noir: Don’t Look Back

Before she started up the hill, he was there. He juggled to balance two backpacks and a sleeping bag on his bicycle. He muttered. His clothes and face were dark with the permanent soil of life without shelter.

She turned away from the ocean and began walking.

He shouted at no one — “Keep marching!”

He followed, matching her pace.

“I found the radioactive material. Keep marching.”

She walked faster.

“I told that fucker there’s a battery in the pack.”

Things he’d seen that she never would passed through her mind.

“Don’t look back, you’ll turn to stone. Keep marching!!

Beach Noir: A Deep Cut

Two guys stood ankle deep in the waves, flexing their tattoos. She walked past them with her head down, eyes on the sand, watching for the sharp edges of broken clamshells.

She longed for them to notice her, but she wasn’t the type of girl that boys like those guys noticed. She looked toward the crashing waves, walking faster, hating them for making her want their attention. Her heel caught the shard of a broken bottle. Blood spilled over the sand as she screamed.

The two guys started toward her.

Walking on the side of her foot, she hurried away.