Silver Shells and Beads (365 Words)
His cousins were visiting. Tommy knew he should like it when his cousins visited, but they were a little older than him and always treated him like a baby. So when his parents and their parents went to the beach, Tommy spent most of his time playing in the sand with Puppy.
That was how Tommy found it, digging in the sand. It was a silver shell. The shell was perfectly silver, gleaming and smooth. Tommy was looking at it when he heard someone calling to him.
Tommy looked around and saw a young man in the surf. He was dressed very strangely in seaweed and shells. Tommy was surprised Puppy didn’t bark at him.
“That’s my shell,” said the young man, pointing at the silver one Tommy had.
“I found it,” said Tommy.
The young man licked his lips. He looked a little nervous. “If I don’t get it back I will be in terrible trouble. You don’t know how serious my folk are about these things.” He fumbled with a string of beads around his neck. “I can trade you for them,” he offered.
Tommy considered the beads. He could hear his cousins shouting behind him. They were playing ball and it looked fun, but Tommy wasn’t very fast.
“I don’t need beads,” said Tommy. “You can have the shell.”
The young man looked startled. But he held out his hand. “I can’t reach you,” he said. “Come a little closer.”
Tommy thought it was strange the man couldn’t reach him, but he could already see he was different. Puppy still wasn’t barking and he felt a little brave. Puppy had a sense about things. So Tommy went closer and dropped the silver shell into the young man’s open hand.
“Here,” said the young man. “I know you don’t need beads but I want you to have them. You’ve done more for me than you know.”
Tommy watched as the young man turned in the surf. A high wave carried him, and at last he saw the strong green fishtail that followed the man’s waist. In moments he was out of sight, vanished into the depths of the sea.
Image (c) Art.com.