On the Strand

The little skinhead came trudging up the beach in his steel-toed boots, smoking his last cigarette all the way down to the end. He had just made it to the boardwalk when a huge explosion knocked him of his feet. He woke up hours later, lying on the weather-beaten boards, a piece of shrapnel sticking out of the back of his head. He rolled over painfully and looked back toward the beach where a huge crater still smoked. He pulled some splinters out of his face and hands but when he took the metal shrapnel out of the back of his head it started gushing.

He struggled to his feet, somewhat disoriented, holding the back of his head. He made it over to a bench and passed out. He woke up about ten minutes later feeling weak. He headed towards a surf shop but there was another explosion and he dropped to the ground, covering himself as best he could. When the smoke cleared there was no more surf shop, just another gaping crater. Now he ran up the hill, in the direction of his house but the third explosion was a direct hit and he was thrown some twenty feet before falling lifeless to the ground.

The diminutive skinhead’s ghost then slipped out of his body, seeking first and foremost revenge. He floated out across the water, locating a boat with a missile launcher. Some long-haired guys passed a joint back and forth. “Ughhnnn,” one said, holding the smoke in. “I think we got him.” They all laughed until they saw the little skinhead there in the boat with them, floating about a foot off the ground. “What the fuh–?” one said. Then they all scrambled, tripping over their own feet, to get below deck and lock the door.

Below deck, the stoners huddled together in the dark. “Didge—didge’you guys SEE that?” one said, white with fear. Then the little skin floated through the door and hovered in front of them, his bomb-wounds still visible in his glowing, translucent body. The stoners screamed and screamed. One of them grabbed an AK and opened fire on the ghost. The bullets cut right through him and tore holes in the boat. As he came closer the stoner continued firing, inadvertently shooting through the wall into their stash of explosives. The stash was ignited instantly and the explosion blew the boat to smithereens.

Body parts and flotsam washed up onto the beach to be picked over by the sea birds until the police finally arrived. “What the hell was that?” one of the cops asked. The other cop looked over. “What the hell was what?”

“A little guy out there, like floating.”

“Are you kiddin’ me Hal?”

“I’m tellin’ you, there’s something out there,” the cop named Hal said.

“Keep throwing the body parts in the bags, Hal. You’ll get used to the job soon enough,” the other cop told him. Hal stared out at the sea. “If you say so,” he muttered. “It’s fucking creepy out here.”

They went on collecting body parts until the sun came up and then they packed up their squad cars. Before pulling out of the parking lot Hal took another look back at the beach. For a second he thought he saw a little skinhead guy floating above the strand but when he blinked there was nothing there. Shaking his head, he pulled out of the parking lot and drove off down the freeway back to the station.

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