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Lost and Found

Flip flop runaways

By Rebecca MortonPublished about a year ago Updated 11 months ago 5 min read
Lost and Found
Photo by Victor Larracuente on Unsplash

This is my entry for the Improbable Paradise Challenge:

Daddy? Where is he? Mommy? Where are my grownups?

I’ve never been on an empty beach before. Maybe it’s empty because it’s a little bit rainy.

There’s a teenager over there lying down by the ocean. Teenagers like phones. They like to have them all the time, like I want my green blankie with me. I wish I knew where I lost that.

I’ll burry this phone under my sand castle to hide it from her.

The teenager’s still lying down. Is she sleeping? She should go back to bed. I’ll go wake her up and tell her that.

I’ll tap her arm with my foot. She opened her eyes! She looks mad.


I have to say something to answer. “Go back to bed.”

“I can close my eyes here if I want to.”

“You could roll onto the ocean.”

“There’s no way I’m leaving this beach. The resort sucks.

“What does it suck?”

“How old are you?’

“Four and three quarters.”

Are you supposed to be at Kiddie Cove?”

“What’s Kitty Coal? Are kitty cats there?”

“No! That would be cool! It’s Kiddie Cove. It’s this dumb day care tent at Flip Flops.”

“I have flip flops. I made them sailboats and they floated away in the ocean. I can’t see them anymore. They’re too far.”

“No. Flip Flops is the resort over there. Are you staying there?”

“I’m staying here.”

“At Flip Flops?”

“On this beach.”

“But are you—is your family at Flip Flops?”

“I am here at the beach. My grownups are sleeping in a hotel room. It’s over there.”

“You’re pointing right at Flip Flops. Wait, are you alone?”

“No. You’re here.”

“No, I mean is anyone here with you?”



“You talk like a teenager.”


“Yeah. You did it again.”

“Teenagers are idiots. I’m eleven.”


“That’s why my parents told my sister, the idiot teenager, to drop me off at Kiddie Cove. So dumb!”

“Is a cove like a cave?”

“That would slap. But, it’s not. It’s a tent with, like, little kid board games and noodle art.”


“I don’t belong there. Um, we should find your family.”

“They can see me through the window.”

“From the resort? From that far away?”

“I don’t know.”

The girl keeps putting her hands in the pockets of her hoodie. I have a hoodie. It’s in the hotel room. She’s looking at me.

“What’s your name?”


“That’s cool. I'm Riley. OH, MY GOD! The phone’s not here!”

“You have a phone? You are so a teenager!”

“I am so dead now! It’s my sister’s phone! I took it so she couldn’t check on me! She was sleeping by the pool.”

“There’s a pool here?”

“We have to find your parents! You could be abducted! Also, it’s raining.”

“It’s just a little dizzle.”

“It’s ‘drizzle’. Do you know what building they’re in?”

“They’re not in a building. They’re in a hotel room.”

“OH MY GOD! If I could just—have you seen a purple phone on the beach?”

“I put one in my castle. It's the king and queen's TV.” Wow. Riley runs really fast. “Please don’t crush my castle! I can get the phone and not crush it!”

“Fine. Can you get the phone out?”

“What do you say?”


“The magic word!”


“OK.” I have to crush my castle. I’ll pretend I’m a boodozer. “RRRRRR—CRUSH!”

“That’s it! That’s the phone! Can I have it?”

“Okay. What do you say?”

“OH MY GOD! THANK YOU! I know the password. My sister doesn’t know I know. Okay. I’m calling her so she can come over here.”

“You calling your mommy and daddy?”

"No way. They're sleeping and they think I'm at Kiddie Cove. I'm calling my sister, if I can remember her number. Oh, yeah. I remember."

"But you have her phone."

“What? Shush. I can't text her 'cause she's asleep.”

“I hear a lady talking. Is that your mom?”

“It went to voicemail. Oh, my god. I called this phone.”

“Cause it's your sister’s phone.”

“OH MY GOD! Now, I’M an idiot! Maybe I AM a teenager!”

She is so funny and she laughs funny, too. I’m laughing too. This is fun!

“You are too cute, Cody!”

“I think you’re too cute.”

“OH MY GOD!” Cody, do you know your parents’ numbers?”

“Mommy is thirty-eight and Daddy is thirty-three. Mommy is the oldest.”


I’m just going to say what she always says. “OH, MY GOD!”

“Cody, are you lost? Did you run away from your parents?”

“No. I told you. They’re sleeping in the room.”

“At Flip Flops?”

“No, barefoot.”

“No, I mean, are they at the resort over there?”

She’s pointing to buildings.

“I could take you over there, but I'll be in massive amounts of trouble if people I know see me not at Kiddie Cove.”

“Can I go to Kitty Cove?”

“What? Why?”

“'Cause it’s fun.”

“For kids your age, yeah. I can’t believe your parents didn’t sign you up. Ooooh! That is an amazing idea!”


“I’ll take you back to Kiddie Cove and say I left there because I saw you running by yourself and I had to go get you and bring you back! I won’t get in trouble for leaving! Brilliant, right?”

“But I don’t know you. Ooops! I can’t go anywhere with a stranger!

“No, we’re friends now!”

“No, I never saw you before! YOU ARE A STRANGER! CALL NINE ONE ONE!” I’m scared. I don’t want to go with her. Mommy and Daddy told me stranger danger. I can run really fast away from Riley! She’s chasing me!

“Cody! Come on!”

Hey, look! There’s more people here now! They are strangers too! I know Riley more than those guys. I’m gonna run back to her. Then, I’ll get to go to Kitty Cove! I love Riley. I’m gonna marry her when I grow up.

Short Story

About the Creator

Rebecca Morton

An older Gen X-er, my childhood was surrounded by theatre people. My adulthood has been surrounded by children, first my students, then my own, and now more students! You can also find me on Medium here:

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