Drayton woke up to find himself sunburned from
head to toe. “Ouch. I’ve never been sunburned in my life.” He stood and
tried to rub the sand from his skin, crying out in pain. “That hurts.”
“Excuse me, son. May I suggest you go and get
some sunblock. That’s a bad burn you’ve got there. Put some aloe vera on it.
That’s sure to take some of the pain away.” An elderly man walking past with
a beach umbrella stopped to give him advice.
“Did I ask you for your opinion, old man? Mind
your own business. I’m not an idiot. I realize I’m sunburned, you old fool.
Get away!” Drayton snarled at him.
The man shook his head and walked away mumbling.
“You’re going to feel that tonight and I’m glad.”
Drayton was sure he heard the man laugh. He
picked up his towel and shook it out. Sand flew into the air and all over
everyone sitting around him.
“Mum, that stupid man got sand in my sandwich.”
A toddler cried, handing his dirty bread to his mum.
Drayton walked over the boy. He picked up a
bucket the boy had been using and filled it with sand. He poured it all over
the boy’s head. He filled it up again and poured it all over the food in the
picnic basket and then looked at his mum. “Tell your brat to stop his
whining or I’ll give him something to whine about.” Drayton tossed the
bucket into the sea and walked back to his hotel.
Everyone that passed him whispered about his sunburn. He saw a shop that
sold lotion in the window, Sun and Fun, and went inside. Sand fell
from him, landing all over the shop floor. The sales clerk, Andre, looked at
Drayton in disgust. “Not another whiner. You going to throw me out over a
“Excuse me sir. Could you please step outside
and brush the sand off and then you’re welcome to come back inside,” Andre
“Why do you talk so funny? Are you some kind of
idiot?” Drayton made fun of him in front of several other customers in the
“My accent is of no concern of yours. Please
step outside before I call the police.”
Drayton brushed all the sand off his body onto the floor and left. He
marched down to the beach. Seeing that the boy had picked the bucket out of
the water, he grabbed it out of the toddler’s hands and filled it with sand.
The mother grabbed her son, holding him away from Drayton. She was relieved
when he left, heading to town. He carried the bucket and stood in front of
the shop. He opened the door.
Andre said, “Excuse me sir. I asked you to leave.”
Drayton walked up to him, holding the bucket behind his back. The other
customers ran out, not wanting to deal with the bully. “First of all, what
sort of accent is that?”
“It’s Creole sir, part of my heritage.”
“Speaking of hairitage,” Drayton said, trying to use the same accent and
mocking the man. He dumped the bucket of sand on top of the man’s head. Some
piled on his hair and the rest of it slid to the floor. “Now, tell me more
about your hairitage.” He laughed as he walked out the door.
On his way to the hotel he passed another shop. He went inside and picked up
a bottle of aloe vera gel, lotion, and sunscreen. Seeing the clerk busy with
another customer, he walked out of the shop, his new stolen purchases hidden
under his towel.
Back in his hotel room he showered and dressed in clean clothes. “I wonder
if those brats have got that pearl yet. Do I hang around to find out, or go
back to Inveralba. If I leave now, I’ll go back a richer man.” He held the
wad of stolen money and pulled open the curtains. “It’s too sunny here. My
skin’s burned and I feel like roasted duck. I’m going home.” He gathered
everything he could find in the hotel room, including a pillow off the bed
and said the words, “Daleth shapish yam bet.” The colored curtains and
bedspread swirled in a blur. Drayton reached to hold onto the table, but
when he touched something, it was a tree in the woods outside Angus’s croft.
Rain poured down on his burned body, pelting it with sharp tingles. Clad
only in shorts, sandals and a tee shirt and forgetting that he’d left his
old clothes hidden behind a bush, Drayton ran to the B&B.
He burst through the door, nearly knocking Elsie over. “Why Drayton!
Whatever happened to you? You’re burned to a crisp.”
Not caring if he was polite or not, he ignored her and ran to his room,
slamming the door behind him.