Xmas ’22 – Day After

It was a day like any other day (at my parent’s place). But for some reason the fatigue weighed on me. We had a hearty breakfast, and then set out to see what remained of the world.

Already it was clear that something had gone down.

The weather wasn’t favorable. The storm the night before had knocked out the power and flooded some of the roads. It looked a mess down on the beachside, but a crime had clearly been committed. The storm may have uncovered something. Though it could easily have been overlooked by the average passerby, to me the sign was in bright neon. There were drag marks leading into the tall grass.

It would be impossible to follow the drag marks into the grass. It was taller than my head in some places, and married with dead rose bushes. The only ones skilled enough to brave it are the small birds, grown fat without competition for food or risk of predators, and the small bunny rabbits, who burrow in like their own underground network of quick escape routes. Them, and apparently the culprit.

Further down the trail more evidence appeared. The discarded remains of a beach snail. Large as average hermit crabs and some of the residents of this area. They live peacefully alongside the small birds and bunny rabbits. They all live nonviolent lives. To find these remains was proof enough that something bad had happened.

Because the trail was washed out and the wind and tides had carried flotsam and jetsam higher inland than usual, the chances of finding more evidence seemed slim. And there would only be a few more hours before it became full dark.

There was no sound out there. Not the singing of the small birds, or the flapping of duck wings on water, or the gentle wash of the tide on the beach. It was as if everyone knew something had happened. And no one was telling.

Eventually I happened upon an area littered with a dozen empty snail shells. Some were partially burried, some looked fresh. I had somehow stumbled upon the culprit’s killing grounds. And it was a horrendous scene. Who would bear enough hatred to go on a mass killing spree such as this? Or maybe they had been killing for much longer and the storm unburried old evidence…

It was hard to know yet. This crime seemed to run deeper than just the random killing of a beach snail. The birds and the bunnies seemed to know something, but weren’t saying. I’d have to find another way to uncover more evidence. I needed to come up with a motive, and hopefully, a suspect. I needed to know why. But the sky was growing dark, and the rain was moving it. It would be a race against time, …and the elements…