The Five Kilometer Rule

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

Featured Review on this writing by Vance Currie

Cover image: pixabay.com.

The Five Kilometer Rule

I suppose you could say that I am one of the lucky ones. I live alone and my needs are few; I can easily stock up with the necessities at the little local shop. The old lady that runs it always has her face-mask firmly in place, and out of consideration for her I have made my own. It’s fabric; easy to wash and dry, and I only go there once a week.

But this is not why you’d think I am lucky, not at all. What would have many of you seething with jealousy would be my proximity to the sea. If I walk out of my garden I am almost on the sand dunes that lead to a golden beach.

Most of the houses nearby are holiday homes, left empty for the majority of the year. they are let out to strangers for a week or two. But not since the lock-down. Holiday homes have been banned for the duration, leaving me to enjoy the beach at my leisure.

It's a beautiful place, not like so many that are more pebble than sand. It's situated in a bay, which offers shelter from the wind and, so long as it is not raining, every afternoon I head out onto the sand where I can walk, then sit. There’s something soothing about picking up handfuls of sand and letting it sift slowly through my fingers.

What alerts me to the fact that today is somehow different is the smell. Even before I reach the top of the dunes I can smell a faint smell of burning. Cigarettes! Someone is on my beach and they are smoking; messing up the purity of the air. I try to hold back my feeling of outrage, but it’s hard. I had my afternoon all planned out and now...

I want to take a peek at who the invader is, preferably without them catching sight of me. I edge forward and squat down, listening for any noise that might indicate that someone else is arriving. I have learned that where there is one, there is more often at least another one as well.

I can see her now, for it is a woman. She looks like she is quite young, although it is hard to tell from behind. She is wearing a t-shirt, I can see, and a large floppy red hat. She looks quite comfortable sitting there, staring out to sea. I don’t recognize her, but to be sure I will need to get closer.

I stand up and whistle, making my presence heard. I’d hoped that she might look around, giving me a chance to see her face, but she doesn’t. Just keeps on staring out to sea as though she has not noticed the noise of my approach.

I make sure I hit the beach a bit of a distance away from her. I’ll act like she is not there too, and walk down to where the waves are lapping their way up the sand. I stoop down to pick up a shell, then I visibly jump, making her think that she has surprised me by her presence, as much as I have surprised her.

I can see her features quite well now: well enough to know that she is a complete stranger to the area. I have lived here for more than ten years and I have never seen her before. She is quite beautiful; I would not have forgotten.

Good afternoon,” I say. “It’s a lovely day to visit the beach.”

She doesn’t answer me, but aims a slight smile in my direction. Fair enough; if she doesn’t want to talk, that is fine with me. In fact, if I’m honest, it makes it easier that way, for a rage is building inside of me. How dare she come from out of the area, bringing her germs with her. I’d been safe and now I’m not.

I wander along the beach, apparently paying her no heed, but I am conscious of my every move. I know exactly where she is sitting as I turn and walk back up towards the sand dunes. On my way down I had spotted a piece of fencing, complete with rusty nails. That will do the job nicely.

All I have to do is make my way silently back to where she is sitting, then swing that bit of wood hard and fast. The force of the blow makes me stagger, while she... she seems to stay upright and then slowly tip sideways to eventually lay on the golden sand.

She’s soiling it, spoiling it, messing up my beautiful beach with her blood. No matter; the sea will soon wash every drop of that away. And as for her body? Well, latter I’ll come out with a spade and dig a big hole beneath the light of the cooling moon and tomorrow things will be just as they should be once more.

 

 


Submitted: May 27, 2020

© Copyright 2021 hullabaloo22. All rights reserved.

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Comments

88 fingers

Make sure you get rid of that piece of wood you hit her with. Toss it in the water or bury it in the sand deep, far from her body. Never leave any evidence. Trust me on this one. :)

Wed, May 27th, 2020 8:43pm

Author
Reply

Ha! It's not true, honest! I live in the mountains, not near the sea. Thanks for giving it a read, 88.

Thu, May 28th, 2020 12:32pm

Mike S.

Nasty twist at the end; excellent, Hull!

Wed, May 27th, 2020 8:56pm

Author
Reply

Thanks, Mike. It was an attempt at black humor.

Thu, May 28th, 2020 12:29pm

Vance Currie

I love this crazy story, Hully with its brutally unexpected ending. I might feel differently, of course, if it were a true story.

Wed, May 27th, 2020 10:03pm

Author
Reply

Haha! No, it's not... I live way further than five kilometers from the sea! I'm really glad that you enjoyed the read, Joe.

Thu, May 28th, 2020 12:25pm

Sue Harris

Well I guess it's one way of getting rid of unwanted intruders. The way you described her demise I found quite comical... a wonderful story of eccentricity, dogged sense of ownership and psychosis... loved it.

Thu, May 28th, 2020 11:43am

Author
Reply

Thanks, Sue. To be honest I'm glad you picked up on a bit of humor I was trying to write into the story.

Thu, May 28th, 2020 12:19pm

ratwood2

very ironic twist at the end. I wonder how many others are buried in the sand.

Thu, May 28th, 2020 2:11pm

Author
Reply

Haha! Thanks, ratwood2.

Thu, May 28th, 2020 12:18pm

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