"Look, Mom! I buried Jason!" his twin sister Leah said, placing a pink cocktail umbrella into the thick sand on Jason's left thigh. It leaned a bit before tumbling over.
The sand blew into Jason's hair as Leah finished drowning him in grit. Some grains made their way into his mouth, crunching in his baby teeth molars. His rounded belly was the most difficult to cover, for the sand would pool off the edges like snow brushing a mountain.
This day marked the family's annual visit to Shark Fin Cove, California. His mother began taking them there once Jason found an obvious shark obsession and wouldn’t venture anywhere else.
“Mom, look!” Leah said, whining and stomping her seven-year-old foot on the ground, shaking shells from Jason’s skin.
“Very nice, Leah.”
Jason growled, fisting the earth, climbing out of the sculpture she created.
“Hey!” Leah squealed. “You’re ruining it.” Her whining voice startled nearby seagulls. “Mom!”
Her tantrum fed his King-Kong-like movements. Pounding his feet into the sand, shaking his whole self, he destroyed her hour-long activity. Somehow, the detritus of the structure remained. Jason glared at it, knowing that no matter how hard he tried the sand will always remain.
Glee stretched across Jason’s face. “I am bigfoot!” he said booming, marching toward the sea, excited that tears streamed from Leah’s face. He wasn’t happy that she was sad, but instead, he enjoyed irking her. It was just so easy.
“Now Jason, come apologize,” Mom called after her son. She knew he would do it again, it was a side effect of boy girl twins. They loved each other so unconditionally that they enjoyed the times when they could turn that love into the biggest annoyance their young minds could handle. And she was okay with that. “Jason! Now,” Mom said without an ounce of seriousness in her voice. "I won't say it again!"
“Mom said come here,” Leah said, trying to help.
Laughter howled from Jason as though he went from bigfoot to werewolf in a matter of moments. More birds scattered from him. “NEVER!” He shouted and sprinted into the green light of the sea.
When Mom finally retrieved a soggy Jason from the lapping waves, the sun had begun setting. The warmth of the day faded into a fiery haze against the rippling ocean, waltzing the glow underneath the sky.
“Mom, stop! That tickles,” Jason said, squirming in the towel as his mom dried him.
“What does?” she asked, feigning dumbfounded. “This?” She scratched the towel into his rounded belly that resembled her own father’s gut.
“Me next!” Leah said, jumping up and down beside them.
“You’re not even wet,” said Jason between tickle-induced chuckles. “Mom!”
“I think you are both successfully dry enough to make the trek back to the car.”
Jason and Leah nodded and helped her pack up the folding chairs and toys. Leah chose the task of cleaning the toys, just so she could get wet, and also be tickle-dried by her mom.
After another round of tickling, giggling, and werewolf howling, Leah skipped ahead of her mom and brother toward the car. Her favourite part of their journey to Shark Fin Cove was the Christmas music in the summer. Despite never celebrating the holiday, the songs were always something that made Leah feel the closest with her late dad, who died when Jason and she were four-years-old.
Once the twins and Mom concluded packing up the car, Mom strapped her younglings in with two clicks and four raspberry blows to their necks and bellies.
“I love you two,” Mom said to them. To her angels.
“We love you too,” they said back to her as she climbed into the front seat. She switched on the ignition and the music started.
“THIS IS MY FAVOURITE ONE!” Leah screamed.
The interlude included bells, pianos and strings. The base was missing from the children’s Muppet version of the song. Almost as though they were insync, as the lyrics started so did their family’s choir of voices shouting the Christmas words:
“ON THE FIRST DAY OF CHRISTMAS, MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME, A PARTRIDGE IN A PEAR TREE…”
The song continued the entire way home.
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About the Creator
She has a Master in Creative Writing, Publishing and Editing from University of Melbourne, and Bachelor in Creative writing from George Washington University.
She currently teaches yoga, Pilates and boxing fitness in Melbourne, Australia.