‘Nothing's fucking free anymore.’
“Was it ever?” The second man asked.
“Sure, used to be able to walk right up on this beach here, no problems, come and enjoy the water, it's the ocean. Now, fucking ten bucks to get in.” He stared out passed the iron-wrought fence, the kind that had big-ass holes you could see through, just so you knew what the fuck was on the other side. “Fucking ten dollars, assholes.’
“You know it’s not their fault.’ Cressel’s friend offered, trying to waylay the frustration.
“Yeah, yeah, but it’s goddamned someone’s fault.” He looked around, as if he was going to find who that was.
Granted, even if he had, he wouldn’t know who it was. They probably were an asshole though. Ten bucks to access the beach, the damn thing took care of itself. Endless waves carrying and drawing out the sand, stretching it along the shore, soft stuff, that kind your feet just sank right into.
”So like, what if I wanted to bring my family, couple kids? Would we be looking at $40 to get in? Fucking bullshit.”
“I agree.” Burns said.
“I mean I could goddamn jump in the water over there.” He pointed off into the distance vaguely, “And swim the fuck over, what would they say about that?”
“Not a whole lot I imagine.”
“Not a goddamn thing. Water’s free.” Cressel said.
“See, something’s free.” Burns offered.
Cressel looked at his friend. Clearly less amused, but he certainly couldn’t deny it. The water sure was, he could do whatever he wanted with it, except walk right down to it. Where he had pointed, that was a ways off, and there would be hell to pay if he had to swim it. He would be in hell, he just wanted to stick his damned feet in the water, sit on some warm sand and drink a beer. He opened the beer.
“Let’s just go to the other beach, it’s right down the road. The women are more beautiful there anyway.” Burns said.
“That doesn’t even make sense.” Cressel retorted.
“How do you mean?”
“I don’t know!” Cressel knew he was just mad. They stood there for a moment, Cressel staring daggers at the kid, who sat in a tall chair by the beach entrance. Poor kid. “Asshole.”
“We already went over this, not his fault.” Burns said, a low chuckle came with it.
“Look at him though, just sitting there, looking at everyone walking up, knowing he’s about to just shit all over their beach trip. I’d quit.”
“Yeah, and walk on down to the beach for free right?”
“You know it.” Cressel cracked open another beer. “I wouldn’t be that asshole.”
“Well, good thing you’re not there.” Burns observed.
“I’d rather be there, then I could get to the damn beach.”
Burns threw his hands up, “Give me one of those.” He opened the beer, drank it, walked up to the kid and in a series of gestures, and hand offs, he paid for Cressel.
They walked onto the beach, soft sand enveloping their steps, feet that sank to their ankles, it was warm and fine sand, best around. Waves crashed, a slow rhythm that seemed to endlessly roll into itself. Burns loved the ocean, the smell, the sounds, the feel of it. So did Cressel, though some folks forget to remember. They walked to the water's edge.
“Fucking ten dollars.”
Original fiction, fantastical stories, and utter nonsense…