Glint in the sand
Barry loved to walk on the beach. The way the water soaked into the soft sand with each receding wave always seemed to make him smile. Today was no different as he strolled a short distance from his parents.
Barry and his family came to this beach often during the summer. It wasn’t uncommon for mom and dad to relax while he wandered for a bit after they laid out their towels. He enjoyed the solitude.
This afternoon saw them mostly alone as the forecast called for bad weather beginning in the evening. A storm was rolling up the coast, and they wanted to get a visit in as the pending weekend threatened to be filled with rain.
Barry hadn’t gotten very far when something caught his eye. A small sparkle just before a wave rolled in. He paused and waited for the water to return to the gulf in hopes of getting another view of the shiny object. Sure enough he saw the glint again as the sand began to dry.
Crouching over the object he could make out the edge of a coin. Larger than a quarter, but smaller than a half dollar. It looked old and worn. Barry got excited. Could he have really found treasure? Dad told stories of the pirates that used to call upon these shores so many years ago. That these beaches could hold untold fortunes for those lucky enough to find them.
Not wanting to lose sight of his prize, he reached…
“Ah, I’ve been looking for that!”
Barry jumped not realizing a stranger had been standing behind him.
“I’m sorry sir, I didn’t know it belonged to anyone. I thought it might be treasure.”
The man chuckled “It is a treasure, of sorts. Go ahead. Take a look”
Barry retrieved the coin and went to return it to its rightful owner.
The man put up a hand, and said. “No, please take a look. This is a special coin. One that is very rare, and you may never see another like it”.
He crouched next to Barry. “What do you see?”
Barry turned the coin over and examined both sides. It was tarnished, and had a square hole in the middle. The edges were jagged, but worn smooth from years of being exposed to the elements. One of the sides had some kind of writing or symbols he hadn’t seen before. The other had a picture of a mountain with what looked like a beam of light that shown down onto a river with a small boat.
“You’re right! I haven’t seen one like this before. Is it old?”
“Oh yes! Very old.” He said leaning closer. “This coin here has quite the story. Would you like to hear it?”
Barry was intrigued. He wanted to learn of this coins history, but thought it odd that this man didn’t just want something this valuable back right away. Not as odd though as the fact he was wearing a dark suit on the beach in the middle of summer, or that he smelled like a campfire. At the moment he was more interested in the story.
“Yes, please tell me about it.”
“Of course young man! This coin once sat at the top of a very tall mountain in a place far from here. Each morning, as the sun rose, the light would shine through this hole here in the center and down onto a river far below. The legend was that anyone that stood in the beam of light while it shown on the water would be endowed with great powers. The problem was, that when the light was shining on the water it created an incredible whirlpool in the river.”
“Did anyone ever get the superpowers?” Barry asked.
“No. Even the bravest man wouldn’t dare venture into such conditions, however one day a young man climbed to the top of the mountain and tried to take the coin. He thought that if he pointed it in a different direction, it would cast it’s light in a safer area. One that would allow him to gain the powers he so desperately wanted. What he didn’t know was that it was cursed, and not just anyone could hold it. The coin shot from his hand, and he fell from the peak into the tempest below. He and this coin were not seen again.”
“I don’t think it has any magic.” Barry said.
“Oh, and what makes you think that?”
“Because I can hold it, and nothing bad has happened to me.”
The stranger leaned very close grinning. “I noticed that very same thing!”
“BARRY!!” He looked up just as a large wave crashed ashore knocking him off his feet.
“Are you OK?” Dad asked helping him up. “Didn’t you hear me calling you? This storm is coming in, and your mom went to get the car. It’s time to go.”
Barry hadn’t noticed the turn in the weather. It was raining, and the waves were coming in quickly now.
“But, I lost it! Where did it go?”
“What did you lose Barry?”
“It was a really old coin, and this man was telling me this story…”
“Barry, we are the only ones out here. Come on, we need to go before it gets any worse.”
“Uh… OK, let’s go Dad.” He took a quick glance at the sand around him. Both the coin and the storyteller were gone.
This is the first story I’ve published on the blog, and would love some feedback. Please feel free to leave comments, or reach out using my contact form.