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On The Beach

Dad located Gaby's silhouette outlined against the background of the splashing wave. Minutes earlier, they had seen toge...

On The Beach

Dad located Gaby's silhouette outlined against the background of the splashing wave. Minutes earlier, they had seen together how the stone, flat as a table, sent off a silvery spasm. It was a slight ray taken from the sun, turned into a golden iridescent greenish blue. The tiny curls of steam from those mirrors emanated an unnoticeable salty haze, heightened by the midday heat. Before them, the bright spike curved in the air, trying to free itself, gasping deaf cries that got embedded in the thin sieve, tight less than a minute ago, but relaxed now, twisting in circles trying unsuccessfully to catch the stones around Dad´s hands, Gaby's feet.

Poor thing, the girl´s voice rode gracefully on the splashing sound of the sea, I feel sorry for the little fish. Dad´s fingers got lost in the fish´s mouth, broke the small-toothed smile, gave way to the right hand. His inexperience was revealed in his clumsiness. He struggled for several seconds with the tangle of sieve.

What are you doing?, Gaby pointed at his hands. He was getting the hook, Little Princess, the tip of his tongue stuck out between his teeth. He licked his upper lip. Gaby looked at her father gently feeling the cavity in search of the metal hook. The fish moved. There! Ready! He held up the fish, showed it to his daughter, took a deep breath, put it in the empty basket. The first today, he sighed.

The day he went to the fishing shop he had no idea what to order. The employee suggested a sieve reel, hooks, a sinker. He listened to the instructions. Once on the beach, he remembered only half, the other half he invented believing that logic would help, but the truth was that he doubted if at the end of the day he would bring something in the straw basket.
Smiling and happy, he opened the tackle box and took out a new piece. That fish did give them a fight, he looked at Gaby, and pricked his finger. He smiled to hide it but a bright red drop at the tip of his finger shone, he sucked it. Then, he sat on the flat stone to tie the hook, talking to Gaby without seeing her. He looked toward the sea, felt the soft wind touching his ears and murmuring a happy song with the chorus of gulls and pelicans.

Do you like the sea, Gaby? His words were lost in the crashing roar of a foaming breaker while water hid under the rocks. Some rogue droplets bathed his face. He turned. Gaby? He dropped the fishing line, looked at the house across the burning sand. An outline was drawn through the fog that unrolled in the distance. The silhouette was vague, at one moment it had no limits, but then it recovered the rounded lines, the vivid colors of summer clothes. A red cap leaping, one arm flagging in the air, a hand waving: Cesar said something that the wind distorted. He pointed to the sea, insisted on nailing the index in the air.

Then, Dad turned around: Gaby!, His voice tried not to sound overcome by anguish: She was on the verge of the rocks. Dad walked quickly, but trying not to let his hurry show. He reached her, took her by the shoulders: What was the Little Princess doing? He pulled her towards him. Nothing, Daddy, she smiled, waved her fingers in the air to the restless ocean. He took her hand and they both turned away from the rocky edge.

Cesar was already exploring the contents of the basket. You´ve caught nothing! He pointed at the emptiness. What do you mean nothing? Dad approached. Gaby chuckled, hiding her face in her hands, opening and closing her eyes. She looked at the rocks. Where was the fish?, Dad looked at her. Gaby evaded the gaze holding her laughter. What fish? Cesar did not understand anything. Dad sighed, patted his daughter´s head, took the sieve, the hook, the sinker. He grabbed a piece of snail from the pail, inserted it into the hook. He got ready to continue fishing.

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