While I was in the moment, I had a little inkling that it was too good to be true. I sat right under a beautiful, multicolored umbrella. The lounging chair was in a perfect position for me to read through my lines for the upcoming show.
I checked and saw that the children were busy making a sand castle with their Dad. I was a little sad that I was not spending time on the project too, but I told myself that it was good for the three of them to hang out together.
Colors from the umbrella shined through and hit the pages before me making a rainbow. I worked on blocking out the sounds around me and concentrated on the words. I quickly turned the pages to see what the next joke was. Occasionally I noticed that others looked in my direction, but still I found it difficult to stifle my laugh. It was going to be fun to work on such a witty comedy.
“Kate,” I think I heard my name being called. I could not lift my eyes from the page.
“KATE, KATE,” someone was yelling at me. It was my husband.
I quickly jabbed my fingernail on the page to make a little indentation of where I left off.
“KATE, WHAT ARE YOU DOING? COME HERE!” he yelled even louder. Mike was holding Beth up in his arms, and she was crying. She had her little arms stretched out towards me. George’s face was starting to crinkle up into the crying position. He stood next to the castle with a red shovel in his dimpled hand.
I threw the script on my chair. I tried to run, but the first steps in the sand got me off-balance. Once I found my footing, I ran towards my family and their partly-finished sand castle.
“Something bit Beth. We were digging in the sand. But, the thing. I think it came up with the waves.”
“That’s a jelly fish,” said an older man who stood nearby. He wore a Santa hat while holding his fishing pole in one hand and his tackle box in the other. His red trunks covered his legs to his knees, and his taut and tan tummy looked like leather.
I looked to where he was pointing. The jelly fish looked like purple jelly. It looked dead.
“Beth, show me where it bit you,” I said. Her breath came out in jagged sobs.
“Momma,” she said. She pointed to her leg, but I couldn’t see any marks.
“Where, honey?” I smoothed out some of her blond curls that had lightened up from being in the sun. Her little face looked so tan against her hair, and her blue eyes were as bright as the sky. She scratched her leg starting to make a mark. Her gaze was glued to the ground.
“Momma, nothing bit me.” Her shoulders lifted up and fell down with her sobs. “I just wanted the shovel. George took it from me. I’m sorry, Momma.”
The fisherman winked and walked away.
“Honey, you scared us so much,” I said, as Mike rolled his eyes at me.
I went to the pile of stuff by my chair and found another shovel.
“Here, we have more. Next time, come and tell me. Let’s not make up stories just to get what we want, okay?”
Her sobs started to subside.
“Okay, Momma. Will you play with us?” She asked in one big breath.
I knelt down on the ground next to the castle. George stood next to me and twirled his warm and sandy fingers through my hair at the nape of my neck.
I was glad Beth was all right and that the jelly fish was dead. What made me even more happy was to be angled back into the group.
This post was inspired by Write on Edge’s Red Writing Hood prompt. We were instructed to pick four numbers between 1 and 10. The prompt listed different topics for each number. The first number is for your character (actress), the second your setting (beach), the third the time (December) and the fourth the situation (a family emergency). Then take the four elements and combine them into a short story.