We arrived at the beach and knew something was amiss the moment we hit the sand. It didn’t seem right…grass trampled…flip flops tossed about…drag marks directing our eyes towards the stream leading to the open waters.
Red commented that we’d walked into a crime scene…she knew. She was always alert and aware of her surroundings…we just couldn’t see the shocked look on her face…her recent botox unable to clearly reveal her dismay!
We considered phoning for backup but our cell phones were useless…no service on the beach…or at the cottage for that matter. We were rendered incapable of communicating to loved ones back home and until this moment…didn’t have a problem with it. We’d intended our conversations that weekend to be with one another but suddenly were faced with the thought that maybe we needed some outside help.
We thought to go back but after a quick discussion felt we might possibly be the only ones who could solve this mystery…plus we had Pina Coladas in our beach bag needing attention. Our “Girls Gone Wild” weekend was suddenly living up to its name (and not because Gib had run with scissors earlier in the day.)
Although our Nancy Drew books had been devoured at least twenty five years before…we knew clues when we saw clues…and we were up to the challenge.
We began to comb the beach…sidetracked from time to time by a lovely piece of beach glass…a shell…a crab leg. The sand exfoliating our feet. We were hoping not to come across anything too gory but Red was positive we’d find a body. She’d seen every episode of CSI…she knew better than the rest of us…she put the idea in our heads and we were all on high alert. There was no turning back…our imaginations had run amok.
We were about to leave the beach when we started putting two and two together. We saw “scavenging” kayakers heading back upstream. A lighthouse carried on the front of one of the kayaks…lost in a storm and recovered during an adventure. It would be fixed up and placed on the lawn of their cottage…a beacon for all to find them. To remember their day. They were laughing and carrying on…called out a happy “hello” from the waters. We realized immediately they were the owners of the flip flops…and the “drag marks” were from their little yellow boats.
But Red simply wouldn’t give up…she could feel it in her bones. She’d watched bad cable for years and knew you should never be too quick to solve the crime. There’s always something more…you just have to look for it!
Suddenly we were faced with finding what she’d imagined…all five of us stood there shocked…unable to move…somewhat like Red’s forehead. The crime displayed in front of us…the body found…but how did it get there?
It was a woman. Her torso exposed to the elements…her bare chest visible and left to lie in ruins beneath the seaweed…her arm pointing to the sky…the hand removed…possibly by the perpetrator or possibly by an animal. We were unable to comprehend what we were seeing. How anyone could leave her in such a state and yet…we all understood…there really was no mystery.
We’d all played on the beach and left our adventures there for the next person to discover…we were doing it this very day. Scouring the beach to see what we could find. Treasures and keepsakes to remind us of our day. We weren’t the first girls to roam these sands…to play…to frolic and laugh. To leave ourselves…exposed. To reach our arms upwards. To give someone a hand.
Red was right. She stood there…arms crossed with that “I told you so” look on her face…or maybe it wasn’t…her facial expressions are so hard to read!
It was a great day on the beach. Girl fun. We’d all left our Barbies behind years before…just like the one we found beneath the seaweed…tossed aside with our Nancy Drew novels…but we still knew how to play.
Still knew how to use our imaginations.
Still knew there’s nothing in this world more enjoyable than hanging out with your best girls…on a beach…with Pina Colada’s and a fantastic imagination. Nothing better than laughing…out loud…unable to stop. Nothing more entertaining than a great adventure. Nothing better than friendship.
Gib got in trouble for running with scissors. She was cutting lilacs for the breakfast table and skipped back to the cottage…flowers in one hand…scissors in the other. Not following the safety rules. She wouldn’t let us get in the van that evening to steal the lighthouse the scavenging kayakers had found. It’s possible she was taking our safety lecture a little too far!
We left the plastic woman where we found her.
We took Red home. Happy to have solved the murder. We think. One can never really tell.