IT'S A BODY
by Claire Lewis
"It's a body."
"How do you know? How do you know it's dead? Have you ever seen a dead body before?"
"I just know. I've seen dead animals. This is a dead person."
"You're so sure. How can you tell?"
"Well, it's sorta blue. See the hands? They're blue around the fingernails and look, you can see the lips are blue too, and if you were to touch it. . . . "
"Touch it !!"
"No...you touch it...see if it's cold."
"That doesn't mean anything. . . . maybe it hasn't been here long enough to get cold."
"What should we do what happens now?"
"Well, see if it's cold."
"Maybe we shouldn't touch it. Stop! Don't make anymore tracks. if the police come they won't want our tracks messing things up. The police, maybe we should call the police or something...get help."
"You and your ideas. We're out here on the beach. Now how do we do that? 'See a phone booth anywhere?"
"We should call the police. That's what they are there for ... for when you find dead bodies on the beach and don't know what to do."
"I wonder how it got here. Maybe the killers are still around."
"Calm down! What killers? We don't even know if it's dead or how it got that way. Maybe the person had a heart attack or something like that."
"Something bad happened here.. Let's get out of here. I am. Com'on . . . run! . . . run! . . . get help! . . . tell someone!!"
"Take it easy! Think! Don't panic, just think!"
"No , we should run and get help, find a phone and tell someone."
"Stop staring at it! You don't have to keep looking at it. Just look away, walk away slowly, like this. See, it's easy. . . . one foot and then the other foot. Now to find a telephone. Slow down! You don't even know where you are going yet."
"Yes, I do. Over there. See that yellow house? Someone is home. There's a car in the driveway. But what if - what if they won't help? won't let us in to use the phone? What if they won't even come to the door? Everyone is afraid of strangers these days."
"Someone's is home all right. Just ring the doorbell!"
"They won't answer. They won't let us in."
"We'll just ring the bell. Tell them that there's a body on the beach and ask them to phone the police. You'll see, it will be fine. Here's the bell. Someone's coming. I can see her through the glass. She's got red hair."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
The doorbell rang and rang. The red-haired woman opened the door and looked expectantly in front of her. The porch was empty. She stepped outside, shading her eyes against the glare of the sun, now low upon the horizon. Puzzled and a little apprehensive, she stood there, looking around. Nothing. No one in sight.
She started to turn away when something caught her eye. Something out there on the beach, out there on the sand, hard to tell from here. It looks like a bundle of clothes, or maybe a seal washed up on the beach.
It looks like -- no, it couldn't be -- a body?
That's it. It must be.
It's a body!
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